§ Mr. Caton
To ask Mr. Chancellor of the Exchequer (1) whether he estimates that the UK will achieve the UN target for overseas development assistance as a proportion of national income by 2015; 
(2) what assessment his Department has made of when the UK will reach the UN target for overseas development assistance as a proportion of the gross national income. 
§ John Healey
The Government remains fully committed to reaching the UN 0.7 per cent. ODA7GNI target. In the 2002 Spending Review the Government set out its spending plans for the next three years up to 2005–06 and has made substantial increases to the aid budget. The UK's level of overseas development assistance will reach 0.33 per cent, of GNI by 2003–04 and 0.40 per cent, by 2005–06, up from 0.26 per cent, in 1997. This will place us well above the current G7 country average of 0.19 per cent, and the current OECD average of 0.22 per cent.464W
Any timetable beyond 2005–06 for reaching the UN target would properly be a matter for future parliaments. For this reason we believe that it is important to look at what has actually been achieved and what is firmly budgeted for— rather than any aspirational timetable— as the critical test of our commitment.