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Labour MPs highlight research sector in aid budget debate

Tory government has “no plans” for vote on reversing controversial aid budget cuts

Opposition MPs have emphasised the role that universities and research play in UK-funded international development in an emergency debate on the reduced aid budget, which the chancellor Rishi Sunak cut from 0.7 to 0.5 per cent of gross national income in November 2020.

The cuts have fallen heavily on research funded by Official Development Assistance. The business department has seen its ODA research budget cut by 70 per cent compared with 2019 levels, forcing many ongoing projects to scale down and lose research staff in the UK and overseas, while further cuts to research budgets have been made at the foreign office and the health department.

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