OPPOSITION Treasurer Joe Hockey has today announced a political blow that will impact heavily on the world’s most vulnerable.
UNICEF Australia has criticised Coalition’s budget costings and a plan to cut $4.5 billion from foreign aid over the coming six years.
The cuts come despite more than 15,000 voters in both Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott’s electorates of North Sydney and Warringah calling on their local MPs to increase Australia’s aid commitment.
UNICEF Australia chief executive officer Norman Gillespie said both MPs had failed to listen to voters.
“We’ve spoken to voters. We’ve asked them face-to-face what they want of our government. They want us to deliver on our commitment to those living in extreme poverty,” Dr Gillespie said.
“Joe Hockey would have us believe they can wait and that Australia can’t afford to fund foreign aid but I have to disagree. We are a strong OECD country, yet we are fast becoming the least generous when it comes to reducing global poverty.
“It’s clear the Coalition no longer has the same desire to deliver on poverty reduction and good governance it held during the Howard years.
UNICEF Australia is among a number of Australian aid agencies calling for an increase in aid spending to the tune to 13c in every $100.
“Mr Hockey may well wish to argue the economy will grow faster under a Coalition but his costings are at the expense of children’s lives,” Dr Gillespie said.
UNICEF Australia’s Promise Me campaign has canvassed Australian voters in the street, at their home, at metropolitan weekend markets, in partnership with local community groups and online.
For more information, please contact:
Kate Moore, UNICEF Australia
02 8917 3244 / 0407 150 771
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