Britain missed David Cameron’s flagship foreign aid target last year despite handing out an extra £2.7billion, it emerged yesterday.
The figures, buried in an official report, suggest the country could have to fork out up to £750million extra by the end of next month in order to hit the target this year – although Government sources insisted the final increase would be lower.
The revelations are an embarrassment for the Prime Minister who has repeatedly boasted about meeting his pledge to spend 0.7 per cent of Britain’s annual income on foreign aid.
Ministers are now backing legislation which would make it illegal for future governments to miss the aid target. Critics said the figures demonstrated the ‘idiocy’ of trying to hit an ‘arbitrary’ target.
Tory MP Philip Davies said: ‘This just goes to show the absolute nonsense of committing this ludicrous target into law. We have thrown billions at it and still missed it, and now we will presumably throw hundreds of millions more at it.’