November 26 British Chancellor Sunak announced that the UK’s foreign aid budget will be reduced from 0.7% of gross national income to 0.5%. This decision was strongly opposed by some British insiders, and Liz Sage, a senior official of the Foreign Office and Baroness, announced his resignation.
On November 6th local time, the British government tried to implement a city-wide large-scale COVID-19 test in Liverpool. Local residents can be tested regardless of whether they have symptoms or not. The whole process is expected to last for two weeks.
Sunak reportedly said that it was “hard to convince the British people” to “strictly insist” that 0.7% of GNI was spent on overseas aid during the fiscal crisis. He also said that in the future, “when financial conditions permit”, they will return to 0.7%.
According to the report, many government officials expressed dissatisfaction with this. Liz Sager announced her resignation that day. In her resignation letter to British Prime Minister Johnson, she wrote that abandoning this promise was fundamentally wrong. “This commitment should be followed in tough times,” she said. I don’t think we need to further reduce support in times of unprecedented global crisis.”
Annelise Dodds, the shadow cabinet minister of the Exchequer of the Labor Party, said Sunak had “abandoned the world’s poorest people”; Andrew Mitchell, a former Conservative Secretary of the Cabinet, said that the decision to cut spending “could be successful. It is the cause of death for 100,000 people, mainly children.