In Federal Parliament yesterday, Labor MP Graham Perrett moved a motion calling on the Federal Government to restore funding for overseas aid.Read more
The debate about late term abortion in this nation is over.
But the debate about the sanctity of human life still rages.Read more
Comments today by Federal Treasurer Scott Morrison that he would like to see foreign aid money increase in future budgets are commendable, sending a positive message about our nation’s desire to be generous to the world’s poor, according to the Australia Christian Lobby.Read more
Our budget is a moral document. It is how we as a people decide to spend our collective money.Read more
The Australian Christian Lobby has expressed concern with reports the federal government plans to redirect foreign aid money from the poor to bolster anti-terrorism efforts in tomorrow’s Federal Budget.Read more
In times past, Australia was often known as the ‘Lucky Country’. We are a generous country, a generous people and proof of this has played out time and time again. When someone is facing hard times, we, Australians, want to help. Yet, over recent years we have failed to deliver on our promise of foreign aid.Read more
As the Government frames the May budget, the Australian Christian Lobby has repeated calls for it to meet our foreign aid funding promises to the poor, particularly in light of the genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East and Africa.Read more
Labor’s election pledge to reverse years of cutting overseas aid by both sides of politics has been welcomed by the Australian Christian Lobby.Read more
There is a desperate need for public respect to be restored to our political class.
Their work on our behalf is too important to be traduced.
The Abbott Government looks set to break its promise about no new taxes with the so-called deficit levy.
Financial responsibility is of course vital and our generation must not be leaving a burden for the next.
The small target strategy of political campaigning means that both sides approach elections by trying to be as small a target as possible.
In the last campaign, this meant that the Coalition made promises about reigning in government expenditure with the unrealistic expectation that this could be done without cuts to key areas or tax rises.
With the budget approaching next week, this is exposed.
An election promise that was broken last week with little media fanfare was on overseas aid.
Both Labor and the Coalition have for years been crab-walking away from its Millennium Development Goal promise to raise our overseas aid to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) by 2015.
But before the election, the Coalition promised to raise aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI, although it could not say when it would get there.
Last week it was announced that aid would be de-coupled from GNI and capped at $5 billion.
This means that our generosity to the world’s poor cannot grow as our nation’s prosperity grows. It is a breach of an election promise.
All of us make commitments at times that we need to retract because of changed circumstances sometimes beyond our control.
But this should be accompanied by repentance and humility.
Parliamentarians are trapped by a merciless ‘gotcha’ style of journalism and public discourse which leaves little room for these concepts.
The apathy of most people towards politics also facilitates this unreal discourse.
And when it comes to an issue like aid – designed to help people overseas in extreme poverty – our preoccupation with our own prosperity means a promise like this can be breached with very little political consequence.
Labor’s seemingly unwillingness to pursue the Government on this suggests it is complicit in the decision to scale back our aid promise. It certainly deferred billions of dollars of promised aid in the past two budgets.
Principled public leadership is hard but we must find a way to see it restored in our political culture.
This should be a priority of all involved in public life. The next generation will thank us if we achieve it.
Micah Challenge has launched a campaign urging the government to reverse its planned $656 million cut to foreign aid. We encourage you to join with them in calling on MPs and the Prime Minister not to cut aid.
*Please note: the below information is from the Micah Challenge team*
Whether you've been campaigning with us for a long time, or have only just recently come on onboard, we know you share our deep disappointment with the Government's intention to remove $4.5 billion from Australia’s overseas aid budget over the next four years – including cutting $656 million from this year’s budget.
This $656 million cut, if it proceeds, represents:
- 11% of the 2013-14 aid budget,
- the largest ever cut to Australia’s overseas aid budget,
- and the first cut in aid since Prime Minister John Howard signed on to the Millennium Declaration and committed Australia to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.”
At just 1.4% of the Federal Budget, aid represents a small investment by the Australian Government, but one that provides huge returns in human welfare and improvements in stability, security and opportunity in our region and beyond.
Among many other things, Australian aid in 2011 helped:
- almost 500,000 children in Bangladesh receive vaccinations and over 125,000 women receive skilled medical care during pregnancy and childbirth, reducing the maternal mortality rate twice as fast as the national average in four targeted districts,
- an additional 2.3 million people in Vietnam gain access to clean water,
- more than 20,000 households in Cambodia produce at least one extra rice crop,
- the people of Timor-Leste receive better services by increasing government direct tax collection revenues by 38%,
- 29,681 extra children in Papua New Guinea enrol in basic education,
- 370,000 malnourished children in Somalia receive urgent medical treatment.
The question is, who will pay the price if this cut goes ahead?
Please take urgent action before Parliament resumes, calling on your MP to tell the Prime Minister, “Don’t Cut Aid!”
1. Email your MP, urging them to call on the Government to reverse the planned $656 million cut.
2. Share the stories of effective aid and the communities who will potentially be affected by this cut. We have infographics on our website showing the impact of Australia's aid program in six different countries which you can share on social media, email, or print out.
3. Invite others to join our campaign to hold the Government to account for ensuring Australia makes a full contribution to help end extreme poverty around the world.
Click here to visit the campaign page on the website and take action.