The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development
Abbott Government’s $16 billion broken promise on overseas aid hits world’s poor
WEDNESDAY, 14 MAY 2014
The Abbott Government’s $16 billion in cuts to overseas aid is a broken promise that will hurt the world’s poor.
In yesterday’s Budget, Mr Abbott cut $7.6 billion from overseas aid, breaking his election promise to increase aid by the Consumer Price Index.
That is on top of a further $8.4 billion Mr Abbott has cut from overseas aid by walking away from funding he promised as late as December last year.*
This $16 billion broken promise puts many excellent overseas aid programs at serious risk. But the Budget says nothing about exactly where the axe will fall.
Mr Abbott needs to come clean about exactly which countries and programs will miss out because of his $16 billion in broken promises.
Sixteen billion dollars in overseas aid can make a world of difference to some of the poorest countries and people on earth. For example, it could:
- teach 53 million people to read and write;
- provide 3.2 billion lifesaving Malaria treatments;
- deliver antiretroviral treatment for 20 million people with HIV/AIDS; or
- train 6.4 million new midwives in developing countries.
Mr Abbott’s $16 billion broken promise follows his Government’s decision to abandon poverty reduction as the focus of Australia’s aid program.
The Abbott Government said it would provide certainty on overseas aid, but all it has delivered is chaos, cuts, and broken promises.
This is a Budget of broken promises. It will seriously undermine our international standing and influence.
In contrast, the former Labor Government nearly doubled the aid budget.
* 2013-14 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, p21.