Coalition pledge to cut foreign aid deeply disappointing: ACL

Published 06 September 2013  |  
The Coalition's decision today to cut $4.7 billion from overseas aid is deeply disappointing, according to Australian Christian Lobby Managing Director Lyle Shelton.

"I think Australians are generally proud of the fact that we have been increasing our aid to the world's poor in recent years," Mr Shelton said.

"Under the Coalition's plan, we'll now build better roads for ourselves with money that could have helped keep kids alive in countries where sealed roads are a luxury," Mr Shelton said.

"We all want to see Australia prosper but compared to many countries in our region we are rich and our aid budget is very modest compared to what we spend on ourselves," Mr Shelton said.

Australia currently spends 0.37 per cent of Gross National Income on aid with Labor promising to get to 0.5pc by 2017-18 – still well short of the original Millennium Development Goal promise Australia made to reach 0.75pc by 2015.

Labor recently diverted some of the aid budget to fund asylum seeker costs, something the Coalition condemned at the time.

Christian churches and particularly young people through Micah Challenge have been at the forefront of campaigning to keep our national promise to the world's poor.

"It is disappointing to see bi-partisanship on this now gone," Mr Shelton said.

"Many Christians will feel let down by both major parties in the lead-up to this election."

To see where the parties stand on aid and other policy issues go to australiavotes.org.au/.

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