THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
LABOR COMMITS AN EXTRA $40 MILLION A YEAR TO HELP SOME OF THE WORLD’S POOREST PEOPLE
Today I announce that, if elected, Labor will commit an extra $40 million a year to help some of the world’s poorest people. We will also improve the effectiveness of Australia’s overseas aid program, and restore its accountability and transparency.
An additional $30 million a year will go to Australian NGOs working in developing countries to deliver critical projects like maternal and child health, schooling, clean water, and sanitation. Our NGOs do outstanding work, and know well what works on the ground. So we’re funding them to do more.
Another ten million dollars a year will be invested to work with these NGOs and others to improve aid effectiveness, to ensure we are getting the most from every single dollar spent on overseas aid.
Labor’s extra investment begins a process that will strengthen Australia’s overseas aid organisations and repair the Australian overseas aid budget, following record cuts by the Liberals.
Julie Bishop presides over the weakest overseas aid program in Australian history.
Because of Ms Bishop’s cuts, by 2016 Australia will spend just 22 cents in every $100 of our national income on overseas aid – our lowest spend ever. Over the next decade, that is set to fall further to 17 cents in every $100.
Labor will also restore accountability by reintroducing the annual ministerial Budget statement on overseas aid, after it was axed by Julie Bishop and the Liberals in 2014. The annual ministerial Budget statement will be released at the same time as each federal Budget and show how overseas aid is being allocated by sector, country, region, and internationally. This accountability will be legislated, as will requirements for an independent evaluation of the overseas aid program, and measurement and reporting of effectiveness.
Labor’s proposals have been costed by the independent Parliamentary Budget Office, with the inclusion of an additional $1.5 million per year in departmental funding to administer the grant funding (resulting in a total commitment of $41.5 million per year). Funding for these policies will be offset from existing announcements Labor has made in making sure multinational companies pay their fair share, reducing superannuation concessions and cuts to the Emissions Reduction Fund.