The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP
Deputy Leader of the Opposition
Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development
Commission of Audit gives green light to Abbott Government’s $18 billion of overseas aid cuts
2 MAY 2014
The Government’s razor-gang has given Mr Abbott the green light to cut more than $18 billion in aid from some of the poorest countries on earth.
All along Labor has said Mr Abbott deliberately designed the Commission of Audit to justify his deep cuts, and that’s exactly what’s happened.
On top of a massive overall funding cut, the Commission of Audit suggests reducing the number of countries that receive aid from Australia. The Abbott Government must immediately explain which countries and programs will have their funding slashed.
Disturbingly, the Commission of Audit confirms, once and for all, that the Abbott Government has officially abandoned poverty reduction as the focus of the aid program. If Australia’s aid program isn’t focused on things like education, health, water, or sanitation, it’s not an aid budget, it’s a trade budget.
In contrast, the former Labor Government nearly doubled the aid budget and introduced internationally recognised aid accountability and effectiveness measures.