UK plans temporary aid cut to pay for coronavirus crisis - The Times

A woman carrying an umbrella walks down Whitehall, as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in London, Britain November 16, 2020. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls

(Reuters) - British Prime Minister Boris Johnson is considering a temporary cut to the aid spending to help the country’s Covid-ravaged public finances, The Times reported.

Ministers have drawn up plans to reduce the proportion of Britain’s gross national income spent on aid from 0.7% to 0.5%, saving billions, the report published in the newspaper said.

Finance Minister Rishi Sunak is pushing for the cut to be announced in next week’s comprehensive spending review, the report said, adding Johnson insisted that the spending should return to the 0.7% total as soon as 2022.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab opposed the move amid concerns about the impact on Britain’s global standing, according to the report.

Reporting by Maria Ponnezhath in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber and Arun Koyyur