#1014 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 28 Dec 2014.
A week before Christmas, federal Treasurer Joe Hockey slashed the foreign aid budget by a further $3.7 billion over three years, taking the total cuts to the sector to more than $11 billion since the Coalition took office in September 2013.
NSW Council of Churches President Ross Clifford referred to this in his Christmas message, reminding us that we have a responsibility to share with others as individuals, and also as a national community.
He said it was disappointing to hear of the latest cuts to Australia’s foreign aid budget which directly hurt the most vulnerable and needy of our regional neighbours. The federal government must do all in its power to avoid further cuts to foreign aid, and seek to return the federal aid budget to a more responsible footing.
An ambitious but achievable goal is to aim for a total foreign aid budget of 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income. Currently Australia gives around half of that figure.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.