Australian Opposition plan to cut foreign aid | Pacific Beat

Australian Opposition plan to cut foreign aid

Australian Opposition plan to cut foreign aid

Updated 6 September 2013, 11:32 AEST

To the Australian election and with less than two days to go, the Opposition Coalition has unveiled its latest budget plans.

Shadow Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has announced another $9 billion in cuts - on top of the $31 billion already detailed - should the Coalition win the election tomorrow.

Mr Hockey says the budget bottom line will be $6 billion better off with his plan.

Most of the savings come from slashing the growth rate of foreign aid spending to save $4.5 billion over the four years of the budget cycle.

The money would then be funnelled into infrastructure spending in Australia.

Mr Hockey has defended the approach, saying Australia 'can only be a more generous nation' when the economy is growing.

But aid organisations say the Coalition's foreign aid cuts would make Australia's commitment to reducing world poverty under the Millennium Development Goals 'non-existent'.

There had been bipartisan commitment to lift Australia's spending on foreign aid budget to half-of-a-per-cent of national income within two years.

The aid sector says that goal's now dashed.

It's accused the Coalition of balancing the budget on the back of the world's poor.

Presenter: Lexi Metherell

Speaker: Oxfam Australia's Helen Szoke

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