For release: 7 May 2015

The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed dismay at media speculation that further cuts will be made to Australia’s overseas aid.

Managing Director Lyle Shelton called on Julie Bishop to lobby Mr Hockey to leave aid alone in next week’s budget, as she did back in March.

“Our aid has become a soft touch for budget cuts because poor people overseas don’t vote and few in Australia care enough to raise their voices,” Mr Shelton said.

Last year cuts to aid made up 20pc of all cuts in the budget.

“Australia has to live within its means but most of us have mortgages and are still able to find something in our household budgets to give to the poor. The nation should do the same,” Mr Shelton said.

“Our nation’s bi-partisan Howard-era United Nations Millennium Development Goal promise to raise aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income is in tatters.

“First Labor in Government deferred promised aid and then the Coalition cut almost $8 billion over the next five years.

“Despite Ms Bishop’s obvious ire in March when leaks emerged aid was in the frame again, there has been little public reaction to the prospects of further cuts.”

Mr Shelton said the United Kingdom, whose economy was in a worse condition when compared to Australia’s, had already met the 0.7pc GNI promise.

Last year Ms Bishop said aid would be capped at $5 billion which meant Australia’s aid giving was no longer tied to GNI and able to rise as the nation’s wealth rose.

Mr Shelton urged people to email Mr Hockey and urge him to leave aid alone next week.