May 14, 2014

Foreign affairs: savage aid cuts will hurt the poorest in Asia

Joe Hockey has deeply cut the foreign aid budget, ignoring a commitment to the UN Millennium Development Goals. The real losers will be the millions in the Asia-Pacific on the poverty line.

Professor Damien Kingsbury

Crikey international affairs commentator

When a government cuts spending, its non-voting constituents are always going to fare worse than those who do vote. Whatever residual anger might come at the next federal elections, Australia’s aid recipients won’t be a part of that vote.

As compared to budget cuts of $7.6 billion over the next five years, or a little over $1.5 billion a year, the government’s trimming of just $107 million from the $5 billion aid budget in January looks positively generous. An earlier bipartisan commitment to lift Australian aid spending to 0.5% of gross national income, delayed until 2017-18, now appears entirely gone.

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3 thoughts on “Foreign affairs: savage aid cuts will hurt the poorest in Asia

  1. klewso

    Re “”Our” record on regard for less fortunate, less developed, foreign countries”?
    What’s a bit more international resentment, that can be exploited by a Coalition government, for domestic votes?

    [Who gave poor old East Timor such a jolly rogering in the “(Australian) national interest”? Over those “disputed reserves” of their resources, the development of the exploitation of which would have made them so far less dependent on this sort aid? How Honest John Howard’s government (including Abbott, Hockey et al) used government resources to rob them, to benefit one of our tax-paying companies?

  2. MJPC

    What’s the savage cuts??? Aren’t the current government spending $24B for new fighter aircraft. Foreign aid not only comes via sea or land, it can comes via bombs from the air like war criminal Howard used on Iraq.

  3. Dan B

    Screw the UN, and our obligations to them. They are nothing but another big corporation making billions under the guise of humanitarianism.

    The increase in our defence budget is wise. Since Obama et al announced significant cuts to their military budgets/personnel/materials, we have seen previous hegemonic countries take it as clear messages to once again commence broadening their spheres of influence, knowing full well the usual “coalitions” will be unable to intervene. Ukraine is a case in point.

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