Email Tony about OS Aid Cuts
Yesterday, less than 48 hours before voting starts in the election, Joe Hockey announced that if the Coalition is elected on Saturday it will cut a further $4.5 billion from the aid budget over the next four years.
This represents a broken promise. The Coalition had long been promising to increase our aid budget to 0.5 per cent of national income. In an interview with Sky News this year, Mr Abbott said, “our policy is to take foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income…… It does remain the commitment of the Government and, over time, obviously, we are a generous people, we don’t want to be niggardly in respect of our poorer neighbours.” That was a promise he turned his back on yesterday.
Instead of being used to save lives in impoverished countries, the aid will be diverted to fund Melbourne’s East West link ($1.5 billion), Sydney’s WestConnex ($1.5 billion) and the Brisbane Gateway Motorway upgrade ($1 billion).
Mr Hockey refused to give a timeline to reach that target and even worse, if this goes ahead, Australia’s aid will slide backwards from a projected 0.37% of GNI this year to 0.32% of GNI in 2016/17. This would be the first decrease in aid as a percentage of GNI since Australia committed to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
By contrast the Coalition has committed to a massive splurge in Australia’s military spending, increasing from 1.59% of GNI to 2% of GNI within ten years, with the massive increase paying for more submarines and jet bombers.
We want Mr Abbott to keep his promise on increasing aid because lives are depending on it.
Email to Tony Abbott MP – Tony.Abbott.MP@aph.gov.au
Subject: Please Keep Your Promise To Increase Aid
Dear Mr Abbott,
You are on record for committing a Coalition Government to increase Australia’s overseas aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income, a commitment I strongly support.
In light of this, I was deeply disappointed to hear Mr Hockey announce that there would be further cuts of $4.5 billion to Australia’s aid program if a Coalition Government is elected this Saturday – effectively breaking the promise that you have made many times to the Australian people. I was shocked this cut is being made to fund road projects in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane.
Along with many thousands of Australians I support a generous and effective aid program. I believe that a wealthy nation like Australia can and must meet its international commitments to the poorest people in the world.
Last year, Australia’s overseas aid helped to (among other things) immunise more than 2 million boys and girls against killer diseases, give more than 1 million children a quality education, and provide life-saving assistance to more than 16 million people caught in a conflict or crisis.
I believe saving the lives of children in impoverished countries is a higher priority than road projects in Australian capital cities. Please do not break your promise to increase overseas aid.