In reply to my letter to the Treasurer, the Honourable Wayne Swan, asking the Federal Government to keep their promise re Australia’s Aid, I received a letter from AusAid. It said in part with my comments [underlined]:
The Australian Government remains committed [but will it stay committed – it has broken its promise once?!-my comment] to spending 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income (GNI) on official development assistance (ODA) and to playing its part in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). In 2012-2013, Australian overseas aid will increase to $5.2 billion, up from $4.8 billion in 2011-2012. This maintains overseas aid at 0.35 per cent of Australia’s GNI.
In order to help achieve a budget surplus [there were other avenues available to achieve this, but it begs the broader question of why a budget surplus at the cost of the lives of poorest of the world?], the Government decided in the 2012-13 Budget to defer the achievement [“and we as the Federal Government acknowledge that we have broken a promise to the Australian people and we apologise sincerely to them for this. We will not break this promise we make now” – How helpful it would have been if the Government had made this apology?] of providing 0.5 per cent of GNI as overseas aid by one year to 2016-2017. However, funding for overseas aid will continue to grow significantly over the next four years. By 2015-2016, Australian Aid will increase to $7.7 billion, equivalent to 0.45 per cent of GNI.
I signed an open letter to the Prime Minister, 2 May: “Australians Keep Their Word” -Rallying for Foreign Aid.
After the disappointing Federal Budget, the revised aid commitment, Global Aid Facts.