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Australia should join Britain and commit to 0.7% GDP foreign aid spending

The Gillard government should feel shame that it has fallen well behind a debt laden conservative British government who in yesterday's budget announced it will spend 0.7 percent of gross national income on foreign aid this year, says Australian Greens foreign aid spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon.

"Australia's economic health is far superior to Britain yet Minister Bob Carr is too stingy to commit to 0.7 percent which Britain, Sweden, Norway, Luxembourg, Denmark and the Netherlands are now committed to allocating," Senator Rhiannon said.

"The Gillard government should feel the heat from Chancellor George Osborne's promise to meet the UN target set in the 1970s in the face of austerity measures across Britain.

"Australians support effective and generous spending on overseas aid to help the world's poor.

"Since 2012 Labor and the Coalition have backtracked on a bipartisan commitment to increase overseas aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015. 

"If Britain can contribute its fair share of overseas aid surely Australia can too," Senator Rhiannon said.

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