16 September 2014
The Abbott Liberal Government’s $7.6 billion cut to overseas aid is a broken promise that will hurt the world’s poor.
Tanya Plibersek, Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Development, was in Newcastle today and addressed a large audience about the cuts at a public forum at University House.
“Tony Abbott made a pre-election promise to increase investment in overseas aid in line with the consumer price index,” Ms Plibersek said.
“Yet in his first Budget, he cut $7.6 billion from our aid contribution, including more than $110 million from aid to our neighbours in the Asia-Pacific.”
Federal Member for Newcastle, Sharon Claydon, said the Abbott Government’s cuts are hugely disappointing for the more than 20,000 supporters of international development in our local community.
“Novocastrians are generous supporters of international development and make a substantial contribution both financially and with their time to nations not as well-off as ours,” Ms Claydon said.
“In addition to the 20,000 individuals who are actively involved in our community, 500 local businesses and 55 community and church groups are active around international development issues in our city.”
“The cuts to overseas aid by the Abbott Liberal Government are a big hit to the countries directly affected, but they are also a betrayal of these thousands of Novocastrians who volunteer and support overseas aid programs.”
Newcastle’s large Pacific Islander community with family members still at home have every right to feel aggrieved with more than $30 million of funding cut from nations such as the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Tonga.
“Australia is a generous country and we can afford to lend a helping hand to those who need it most. We also have a particular responsibility to our neighbours in the Pacific,” Ms Claydon said.
The Abbott Government said it would provide certainty on overseas aid, but all it has delivered is chaos, cuts, and broken promises.
In contrast, the former Labor Government nearly doubled the aid budget.