Archbishop of York backs overseas aid

The Archbishop of York has expressed his support for maintaining the overseas aid ahead of the Budget today.

The Government has promised to allocate 0.7 per cent of national income to supporting impoverished communities abroad.

Dr John Sentamu acknowledged that the economic climate was "hard" in Britain and that many people here were feeling the "financial squeeze".

However, he said Britain had a "social and moral obligation to help eradicate the unnecessary suffering of others" both at home and overseas.

Care should be provided for the disadvantaged "wherever they live", he said.

"We shouldn't have to choose between international aid and tackling poverty in the UK. It's a false choice," he said.

"Loving our neighbour means showing love and generosity not only to the people down the road, but also to our neighbours wherever they live in the global village.

"When the poor and vulnerable are left behind then we are all worse off as a society, as a nation and as an international community."

He added that the Budget was an opportunity to make sure businesses pay their fair share of tax and stop the tax avoidance impacting on the poor at home and abroad.

"We need to create a level playing field so that businesses and citizens who pay their taxes and contribute to society get a fair deal," said Dr Sentamu.

"In these tough economic times it matters even more that all of us contribute as we should.

"This is the time to deliver on our promises and continue to show the rest of the world our great British values of generosity, fairness and justice."