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Overspend of £170m on foreign aid sparks fury

By Gavin Cordon

Published 04/04/2016

The Government has exceeded its controversial 0.7% target for spending on international aid by more than £170 million
The Government has exceeded its controversial 0.7% target for spending on international aid by more than £170 million

The Government has exceeded its controversial 0.7% target for spending on international aid by more than £170 million.

Provisional figures from the Department for International Development (DfID) show aid spending in 2015 was 0.71% of national income. With a total aid bill of £12.2 billion, The Mail on Sunday reported that it represented an overspend of £172 million.

While small in percentage terms, the disclosure is likely to prove controversial among some Conservative MPs who have long argued the money would be better spent at home.

Tory backbencher Jacob Rees-Mogg told The Mail on Sunday: "There can be no more graphic example of the idiocy of setting such a fixed target. This overspend will anger taxpayers who do not want their money frittered away on politicians' vanity."

A Government spokesman said: "These are provisional statistics that will fluctuate and we'll only know the final figure towards the end of the year."

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