Public poll on foreign aid for The Whitehouse Consultancy.
Date Published: 30 Sep 2014
NEW WHITEHOUSE CONSULTANCY / COMRES POLL
Majority of Britons believe that the Government should scrap 0.7% overseas aid target
A new ComRes poll, commissioned by political communications specialists The Whitehouse Consultancy, has found that a majority of Britons (58%) believe that the Government should abandon its target to spend 0.7% of GDP on foreign aid, with seven in ten (69%) believing the aid budget should be spent on protecting British citizens from poverty before it is spent overseas.
The poll also found that 63% of Britons believe the Government should only give aid money to places experiencing humanitarian crises such as famines, conflict and natural disasters. Despite this, half of Britons (50%) believe that we should be proud of the UK Government’s commitment to the foreign aid budget.
The poll comes as Prime Minister David Cameron faces increasing pressure from both the Conservative Party and Ukip on the issue of foreign aid spending. Ukip leader Nigel Farage has called for the foreign aid budget to be redirected to the UK, arguing that “charity begins at home”, with a number of Conservative backbench MPs moving to derail a Bill that would enshrine the 0.7% commitment into law.
According to the poll, men (64%) are more likely to want to abandon the 0.7% target than women (53%). There was also broad consensus that the UK Government should only give aid to most impoverished places, with 60% of Britons agreeing that, except in times of humanitarian emergency, the aid budget should only be spent on countries that make up the poorest 25% worldwide.
Methodology Note: ComRes interviewed 2,024 British adults online between 26th and 28th September 2014. Data were weighted to be representative of all GB adults aged 18+. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules.