Despite attacks on Johnson, John Major managed the lowest foreign aid spending in a 50-year period.
JOHN MAJOR has criticized the government for decreasing foreign aid, but his administration was in charge of the lowest spending on international development from 1970 to 2020.
Boris Johnson’s government won a key vote last week, reducing foreign aid from 0.7 percent to 0.5 percent of national revenue. The program was approved by a majority of 35 MPs, although a handful of Conservative rebels joined Labour in attempting to maintain foreign aid payments. Prime Minister Johnson has maintained that the cuts are necessary to keep the government’s debt under control in the face of the pandemic. Former prime ministers, on the other hand, have criticized the global implications of the cuts.
Mr Major was one of the first to criticize the concept, accusing the government of wasting public funds on a national boat while stating that the country’s finances needed to be in line.
“It appears that we can afford a ‘national yacht’ that no one wants or needs, while eliminating aid to some of the world’s poorest and most needy people,” he remarked.
“This isn’t the kind of conservatism I’m used to seeing. It is the Little England stamp, not the Great Britain stamp.”
However, considering his government’s record on international aid spending and his own requests for a “Royal Yacht” in 1997, Mr Major’s criticism has been questioned.
“We took that decision because we feel that a Royal Yacht is an important national asset and projects a prestigious image of Britain that adds dramatically to official occasions,” Mr Major said at the time.
“We feel that a new royal yacht, as a symbol of the nation’s pride, should be paid by the nation itself, not by sponsorship or subscription.”
According to Guido Fawkes, Mr. Major also departed office with foreign aid expenditure lower than it was under Margaret Thatcher and lower than it was in the 1970s.
According to estimates from the Department of International Development, spending during Mr Major’s tenure was at its lowest point between 1970 and 2020.
Theresa May, Mr Johnson’s predecessor, also slammed the plans, saying this week: “We made a promise to the world’s poorest people.” That pledge has been broken by the government. Because of this motion, the promise may be broken for many years to come.
“Today, I shall vote against the motion with great regret.”
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