THE recent surge in inflation has brought higher interest rates, making it more expensive for people to borrow and encouraging saving.

As the Bank of England raises interest rates for a 13th consecutive time, it is imperative to consider the broader impact of the cost-of-living crisis on the UK economy.

Austerity measures, including cuts to essential sectors like the police, healthcare, and pensions, have not only affected domestic affairs but also undermined the UK’s international contributions.

One significant consequence of these measures is the reduction in the Overseas Development Aid (ODA) budget, from 0.7 per cent to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income.

Despite the UK failing to meet the 0.7 per cent target in 2021, it is crucial to acknowledge the value of international development.

The United Nations Development Programme’s 2021 Global Multi-dimensional Poverty Index highlights that 644 million people, including countless children, continue to live in poverty worldwide.

Restoring the UK’s leadership in international development is not only morally imperative but also strategically astute.

By prioritising ODA, the UK can alleviate poverty, stimulate consumption, and unlock new market opportunities for British businesses.

Supporting developing countries through economic growth, increased trade prospects, and enhanced global market stability can yield significant benefits.

Furthermore, sustained investment in ODA can address the root causes of migration, which is a growing concern for the current government.

Regrettably, current spending plans indicate that the 0.7 per cent target may not be met until after 2027/28, with limited possibilities for increased budgets due to fiscal constraints.

This delay not only perpetuates poverty for millions but also deprives the UK of numerous economic advantages.

It is crucial for the British public to unite in solidarity with the world’s most vulnerable, urging our government to prioritize aid budgets and champion global poverty reduction.

Amidst challenges like climate change, conflicts such as the war in Ukraine, and the pressing cost-of-living crisis, Britain must not turn its back on those in dire need.

This issue garners significant support among members of the Labour Party, including Nick Brown, who vehemently opposed the ODA budget decrease in 2021 under Tory austerity measures.

Their dedication to addressing global poverty is commendable, and I sincerely appreciate their commitment.

Charlotte Bessant, Newcastle upon Tyne.