The Coalition’s plan to cut foreign aid by $4.5 billion over 4 years is a kick in the teeth to the 1.2 billion people living on less than $2 a day.
Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s announcement comes on top of the $5.8 billion worth of aid cuts already signalled by the Labor Government.
Both major parties are failing to live up to the promises that all politicians made at the last election – to increase foreign aid spending to 0.5% of gross national income by 2015-16.
“Australian aid is saving people’s lives and giving opportunities for those who have next to nothing,” said Samah Hadid, Australian Director of The Global Poverty Project. “It is disgraceful that a rich country like Australia is shirking its moral responsibility to help those in need”.
Thousands of Australians from all walks of life have come together to demonstrate their support for ending extreme poverty in the run-up to the federal election.
More than 85,000 Australians have signed the Movement to End Poverty petition calling for all politicians to keep their promises on foreign aid funding.
Only last Saturday 3,000 of Tony Abbott’s own constituents came together to send him a message that extreme poverty should not be forgotten, whoever forms the next Government.
“Most Australians are generous people. It’s a shame that their main political leaders are proving to be so stingy”, added Ms Hadid.