24 May 2016
Full-page adverts challenge Coalition Government to match ALP aid pledge
Full-page adverts published in The Age, The Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian today by the Campaign for Australian Aid, call on the Coalition Government to match the pledge made by the Australian Labor Party on Saturday to start to restore the aid budget.
In an appearance on ABC’s 7:30 program last night, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Deputy Leader, Julie Bishop, criticised Labor’s policy announcement, stating that it “was a modest increase” and labelling it a “non-event”.
Campaign Director for the Campaign for Australian Aid, Tony Milne, said: “If this is a modest increase as Julie Bishop claims, then it should be easy for the Coalition to match or better Labor’s pledge.”
“Labor’s commitment of $800 million in extra funding over the forward estimates, starting with the reversal of the most recent $224 million cut, is an important first step towards repairing the Australian aid budget to a fairer level.”
Ms Bishop’s comments follow the largest ever cuts being made to Australia’s aid budget, taking Australia to the lowest levels of aid ever as a share of national income. The cuts include:
- Last year’s largest ever single year cut of $1 billion
- This year’s fourth largest single year cut of $224 million (in current dollars it is the second biggest cut)
- Aid funding slashed from $5.1 billion per year to $3.8 billion per year
“These were real cuts to children’s healthcare, education, immunisation and more.”
Mr Milne said: “The Coalition’s aid budget in future years does incorporate CPI increases, but that will mean that as a percentage of GNI, aid will still continue to fall, and that is now off a rock bottom base level.”
“Australian aid is the contribution Australians make to a fairer and more equal world for everyone and the issue should be above party politics.”
If you’d like to arrange an interview or photo opportunity, please contact Sarah Cannata on 0407 536 133.
About Campaign for Australian Aid
The Campaign for Australian Aid is a joint initiative of the Make Poverty History and Micah Australia coalitions, for all Australians who believe we can and should do more as a nation to end extreme poverty around the world. It represents over 65 aid and development organisations, church, business and community groups. Authorised by Tony Milne, 1/4 Solwood Ln, Blackburn VIC.