Below is a letter that I recently sent to The Honourable Wayne Swan MP, Federal Treasurer:
Australia’s moral obligation to the poor
I appreciate your service to our nation and the challenges that you face in managing our nation’s financial affairs.
Given the financial constraints on the Federal Government at this time, I am concerned at reports that your Government’s promise to increase Australia’s aid budget to 50 cents in every $100 of our Gross National Income by 2015 is under threat.
In my role as a Bishop of the Anglican Church and a Director of World Vision Australia, I am aware of the great contribution that the Australian Federal Government’s aid has made and continues to make to poor people throughout the world.
Australia’s moral obligation arises from its wealth; we are one of the world’s wealthiest nations, and the dire needs in which millions of people throughout the world find themselves. We have a moral obligation to help those who are less well off than ourselves.
During my nine years in South America working as a missionary of the Anglican Church, I saw the calamitous effects of poverty on physical, social, economic, environmental and spiritual health. As a person standing in the Judeo-Christian tradition, I accept fully the challenge of responding positively to Cain’s question, “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
I therefore request you to increase Australia’s aid budget to 0.38% of national income in this year’s Federal Budget. I will rejoice when Australia is giving 0.7%, however I beg your government to ensure that we reach 0.5% of national income by 2015.
Yours sincerely,John D Harrower OAM, Bishop of Tasmania
If you wish to send a letter or email to Mr Swan, then go to Make Poverty History for more information.