Media Release

Friday, April 20, 2012

Any move to defer overseas aid in the budget risks breaking an election promise, Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Jim Wallace said today.

Since news was first leaked that our aid to the poor was to be cut, speculation has mounted as the budget draws closer.

“Suggestions that the election promise to increase aid to .5pc of GNI by 2015 might now be deferred to 2020 are extremely concerning and would have real consequences for some of the world’s most needy,” Mr Wallace said.

“Both sides of politics went to the 2010 election promising to increase aid to .5pc of GNI by 2015.

“We expect the Opposition to hold the Government to account on this.”

Mr Wallace said Christians understood the importance of balancing the budget but as Micah Challenge’s John Becket has said, this should not be done on the backs of the world’s poor.

Mr Wallace said ACL went to considerable effort to disseminate the parties’ election promises to churches in the lead-up to the 2010 election. This included shipping printed information to over 5000 churches.