THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP
DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS
AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
MEMBER FOR SYDNEY
JULIE BISHOP CAN’T JUST ROLL HER EYES AT FURTHER AID CUTS
In yet another leak from the Abbott Government, there are media reports today that Australia’s overseas aid program will suffer further cuts in the Budget.
But it seems Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey have kept their Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, in the dark about the planned cuts to her portfolio.
“I'm not aware of that detail, so I read that for the first time…today…I'll certainly be taking that up with the Treasurer to find out the source of that story,” Ms Bishop told ABC radio this morning.
Julie Bishop has failed hopelessly to protect the aid budget. She signed off on the deepest ever cuts to the aid program in Australian history - no longer can Julie Bishop shake her head and shirk her responsibility for these cuts.
At every single one of the Abbott Government’s economic updates, the cuts to the Australia’s aid program have grown deeper. There were cuts in the 2013 mid-year update, more cuts in the 2014 Budget, and more cuts again in the 2014 mid-year update – totaling more than $11 billion.
Julie Bishop doesn’t have a shred of credibility left on overseas aid.
After inflicting cuts of more than $11 billion, Ms Bishop now presides over the weakest, most depleted overseas aid program in Australian history.
By 2016, Australia will spend just 22 cents in every $100 of our national income on overseas aid - the lowest ever.
News of another round of cuts come as Julie Bishop launches a $140 million ‘innovation hub’ on overseas aid.
But as Julie Bishop well knows, no amount of innovation will reverse the hurt done to some of the world’s poorest countries by her more than $11 billion in cuts to Australia’s aid
MONDAY, 23 MARCH 2015