This year has brought about unprecedented change and hardships for many, including the public purse. 

The Government is committed to buildings hospitals, schools and funding important infrastructure projects in this country. 

Over 1 million Nurses, Doctor’s and those on the lowest wages in the NHS are due a pay rise however, other public sector workers will not receive a pay rise this year. 

While those workers in the private sector have on average had a 1% pay reduction.

Our 0.5% commitment to Foreign Aid will still put us second in the G7 for aid donations.

We cannot give our hardworking teachers, police officers and soldiers a pay-rise so it would be unfair to continue borrowing money to send the same amount of GDP.

Foreign aid is primarily spent on preventing illness and promoting contraception. 

We are still doing this through our pioneering work on the vaccine in the UK.

The Government has committed to projects outside of the aid budget to reduce the effects of Covid-19 on developing nations. 

The vaccine pioneered by AstraZeneca and Oxford University in this country with Government support will soon reach the developing world and this will be the most effective way of preventing deaths. 

This trial which has brought spectacular results in just 10 months. 

The Government has also been one of the key architects in the COVAX facility which aims to deliver 2 billion doses to 160 nations by the end of 2021. 

In total, the UK has committed over £500 million to this programme. 

Importantly, the AstraZeneca and Oxford vaccine can be stored at normal fridge temperature for up to 6 months. 

This ensures that in developing nations, where existing infrastructure will not cope with storage requirements of -80 degrees, our vaccine can get to those most in need. 

This vaccine is being developed at cost thanks again to funding from the Government. 

Due to covid-19 the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) projects that developing countries could see income losses in excess of $220 billion.  

The important task to help nations in need is only met when our economies are healthy and trade can resume. 

The roll-out of the vaccine, not only in the UK but worldwide, will be the key to addressing these needs and I am proud of the way the UK has been at the forefront of this innovation.