Thursday, 5th April, 2012

The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern that cuts to Australia’s overseas aid has become part of pre-budget speculation.

ACL Managing Director Jim Wallace said Labor made an election promise to raise aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015 (see ACL’s 2010 election questionnaire).

“The Christian constituency is concerned that the Government has not immediately quashed this speculation,” he said.

“We understand that savings have to be found in the budget but an election commitment to help people in countries far worse off than Australia should be honoured.

“At a time when Australians are becoming more and more cynical about politics, the last thing that is needed is another broken election promise,” he said.

Mr Wallace said the constituency felt let down by the Government’s failure to keep its promise to protect the Marriage Act, its broken promise on ensuring chaplaincy was not secularised and by the torn up deal on pokie reform with Andrew Wilkie.

“I hope the Prime Minister will quickly put an end to speculation that the Government might be about to walk away from its promise on overseas aid.

“As World Vision CEO Tim Costello said on ABC 7:30 last night, Australians might be grumpy about cost of living pressures but they do understand that we can do more to help the world’s poor.”