Australians Want More Spent on Foreign Aid
16 August 2010 at 4:18 pm
The majority of Australians want the Federal Government to spend more on foreign aid and reach the UN target of committing 0.7% of gross national income (GNI) in aid, a Galaxy poll has found.
The poll, conducted on behalf of Not for Profit organisation, the Make Poverty History (MPH) coalition, found that 64 per cent of voters support lifting Australia’s aid spending to 0.7 per cent of GNI.
Support was particularly strong among young people, with 84 per cent of those aged between 18 and 24 supporting the aid increase.
Make Poverty History co-chair Andrew Hewett says that with just a few days until the election, there is still time for both major parties to commit to lifting their aid spending.
Both the ALP and Coalition have committed to a target of 0.5% of GNI in aid – last week during a National Press Club debate, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop and Foreign Minister Stephen Smith expressed bipartisan support for the 0.5% target.
Hewett says that while it’s good that Labor and the Coalition have reaffirmed their commitment to lifting Australia’s aid spend to 0.5 per cent of GNI, this still leaves Australia lagging behind many other wealthy countries. He says it also means that Australia will not meet the UN target of 0.7% of GNI.
Tim Costello, Make Poverty History Co-Chair, says every side of politics has made some encouraging commitments during this election campaign. But he says Australia is still falling short of where it should be in providing an aid program that provides a fair share to make poverty history.
Costello says Australian voters have demonstrated time and time again that they do want Australia to do its fair share, and that it is now time for politicians to do their fair share.
Make Poverty History is a coalition of more than 60 aid agencies, community groups and religious organisations working to hold governments accountable to their commitment to halve global poverty by achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The poll was conducted on the Galaxy Omnibus on the weekend of 6-8 August 2010, using CATI (computer assisted telephone interviewing) with telephone numbers randomly selected from electronic White Pages. There were 1,052 respondents aged 18 years and older, and the data was weighted by age, gender and region to reflect the latest ABS population estimates.