BVI News

UK Minister for OTs resigns amid British gov’t cuts to overseas aid

UK Minister responsible of Overseas Territories, Baroness Elizabeth Sugg. (Photo by Flickr)

UK Minister for Overseas Territories Baroness Elizabeth Sugg has today (November 25) resigned from her post amid the UK government’s decision to reduce the amount it will spend on overseas aid in the upcoming year.

The move was made as the UK moves to secure more money for its own economy amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The UK government had committed to spending 0.7% of its national income on overseas aid. That percentage has been reduced to 0.5%. According to the BBC, the government believes “the new 0.5% target — which adds up to about £4bn in savings — would be ‘temporary’.”

However, in her letter of resignation, Baroness Sugg said: “Many in our country face severe challenges as a result of the pandemic and I know the government must make very difficult choices in response. But I believe it is fundamentally wrong to abandon our commitment to spend 0.7% of gross national income on development.”

She said the cuts in overseas aid will undermine the UK’s efforts to influence other nations to do what is right as it relates to the COVID-19 pandemic, climate change and conflict.

“I cannot support or defend this decision, it is therefore right that I tender my resignation,” Baroness Sugg said in her letter.

In defending the cuts, Chancellor Rishi Sunak said 0.5% in foreign aid is the equivalent of £10bn. According to the BBC, the Chancellor said: “the UK would still be the second highest aid donor in the G7, “higher than France, Italy, Japan, Canada and the United States”.

He also said the UK government plans to return to 0.7% “when the fiscal situation allows”.


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  1. Chararacter Matters says:

    This is a woman of good character and strong belief..She has made sacrifice to stand up and represnt what she sees as wrong and injust.. Hardly can find 2 powerful people in the BVI with that kind of conviction and belly, coursge worst..

    Like 41
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    • Yes, I agree says:

      100% correct, If she did not care, she would have sat there complacent like sooooo many people in Government. NOT ONE MAN IN GOVERNMENT HAS THE MOUNTAIN OYSTERS TO DO WHAT SHE DID. LIKE I SAD COMPLACENCY RUNS WILD IN THE BVI.

      Like 12
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  2. lets me realistic. says:

    Always knew Sug Knight sister couldn’t handle the portfolio..So lets me realistic…many ppl around the world are crying no jobs, lost their source of income due to COVID. UK’s overseas budget is 0.7% more than the big bad USA, France, Spain Germany and a few other countries…what would you expect to tax the Uk ppl again when their country in misery…come on lets be realistic..Africa and other countries need to wake up and start being responsible for their ppl.what hurts is UK isn’t taking away the entire amount just a cut of 2% to sort out their finances for their ppl. after all you take care of your own before you take care of others who by the way sint contributing anything to the economy.

    Like 6
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    • what? says:

      Don’t forget the UK was built on the backs of the same overseas countries that they want to short change right now.

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      • Junga says:

        The UK built itself up after it released itself from invasion and enslavement by others such as Rome, Normandy, Denmark, Norway. At that time African countries such as Egypt and Libya were enslaving and invading others. Later, African countries such as Togo enslaved people from their neighboring countries and sold them to Britain and many other countries. Including other African ones. Let’s not lose perspective, people.

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  3. Heckler says:

    She has cajones unlike our team who are going headlong over the cliff with bummer and won’t say a word

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  4. BuzzBvi says:

    Andrew Fahie. Dreams can come true!! “BVI’s objective is to be able to effectively manage its own affairs with minimum assistance from the UK.”
    Looks like you got what you wanted. Less money coming. Suggs and the Gov were fighting your corner but… seems others were listening.

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    • @BuzzBvi says:

      Anguilla and St Kitts & Nevis were taken off the ODA list in 2014, the British Virgin Islands in 2000, and the Turks and Caicos in 2008. It is only since Irma/Maria that the OECD eventually agreed that the UK could put these territories back on the list, but only if they suffered a natural disaster that devastated their economies.
      The five biggest recipients of the UK’s foreign aid in 2018 were Pakistan, Syria, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Afghanistan. UK aid aims to reach people living in some of the poorest and most vulnerable places in the world. It saves lives, reduces poverty and helps build a better world for everyone. From Cyclone Idai that ripped through Malawi and Mozambique last year, to Ebola and the Rohingya refugee crisis, the UK has provided lifesaving aid when people need it the most.

  5. Mimi says:

    The Uk is not cutting 2%.
    It is only cutting 0.2%
    Get your number right.

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    • And says:

      British people have more than exceeded that differential this year in charitable giving also. Credit where it is due although always more can be done.

  6. Diaspora 3D/360 says:

    Baroness Elizabeth Sugg punted on Governor Jaspert dismissive, disrespectful, disparaging, flippant and inartful comment about reparations for VI slave descendants and retaining the names on local landmarks of murderers, pirates, buccaneers. She should have encouraged the Governor to apologize for his comments; his comments were his own, not Her Majesty’s and should have been held accountable for his own words. The excuse for not apologizing was lame and continuing the dehumanizing of slaves.

    Nonetheless, her uncommon courage on taking a stance on this aid assistance at least on the surface is commendable.

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    • @diaspora says:

      You are dishonest or did not listen to what was said. He absolutely condemned the period and the actions taken by certain families abe the Crown involvement. He also said at the moment, it is not the UK’s policy to be giving reparations. There is not much more he could have said. He does not at all control U.K. policy, he is a civil servant.

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