World's Poor Foot the Bill for Budget Repairs - NFP
15 May 2014 at 9:39 am
Further cuts to Australia’s foreign aid budget mean Australia’s oversea development assistance is contributing more savings than any other sector to the budget repair job, according to international aid Not for Profit World Vision Australia.
“After receiving repeated reassurances that the aid and development budget would increase by CPI, the Budget papers reveal a freeze of the aid budget for the next two years,” World Vision Australia CEO Tim Costello said.
“This represents a cut in real terms, and it will see a steady decline in the generosity of the aid program – both as a proportion of national income, and as a proportion of government expenditure.
“It is disheartening to see that the poorest people in the world will foot the bill for Australia’s fiscal repairs,” Costello said.
Costello said that while Australia was facing some fiscal challenges, the burden should not fall heavily on programs which assist the world’s most vulnerable, including many of our closest neighbours.
“Of the major savings identified in the Budget forward estimates, more than 20 per cent comes from foreign aid – the biggest single contribution of any category.
The Budget papers reveal the total taken from the aid budget over five years is now estimated at $7.6 billion.
“The two-year freeze in the aid budget follows both sides of politics gutting the total aid budget and diverting aid funds to meet domestic asylum-seeker costs,” Costello said.
As a percentage of GNI, the foreign aid budget will decline from 0.33 per cent in the current financial year, to 0.29 per cent in 2017-18.
“Our overseas aid program delivers a stunning level of human benefit per dollar spent.”
“It’s critical for our nation to embrace our global responsibilities and set other nations an example of good global citizenship.”
Costello said World Vision looks forward to the release of the Government’s aid policy statement, performance benchmarks and detailed country and sectoral funding breakdown, which will be crucial for meeting the Government’s commitment to delivering an effective and transparent aid program.
Treasurer’s Budget speech is HERE
The details of the Budget’s Social Services package can be found HERE
The Budget Papers can be found HERE