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Budget callout on overseas aid – show some decency, reverse the cuts

On the eve of the 2016 budget the Greens have renewed their call for the Turnbull government to reverse the Abbott era cuts to overseas aid and to restore some common decency and humanity to our overseas aid commitment.

"The overseas aid cuts in the last budget were so extreme. They have brought hardship and possible death to many people in low income countries and they undermine Australia's international standing," Greens overseas aid and development spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.

"With Australian aid set to hit a record low of 0.22 per cent if the cuts are not reversed our record is deeply shameful.

"This budget is an opportunity to get Australia back on track with a decent and fair approach to aid to disadvantaged counties. The cruel cuts to our overseas aid budget should be reversed.

"With another $224 million scheduled to be cut in the coming financial year Treasurer Morrison has the opportunity to act and start rebuilding our aid program.

"The impact of climate change on low income countries in the Asia-Pacific region is a stark reminder of why our aid program should be increased.

"We are a wealthy nation and can well afford to contribute to poverty alleviation in developing countries.

"The Greens will shortly release our election platform of how the federal government can restore Australia's overseas aid budget to 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income.

"In 2011 Labor and the Coalition committed in a Senate vote to increase overseas aid to 0.5 per cent of GNI by 2015. Both parties have broken that promise.

"The 2016 budget must be the turning point in overseas funding. We must not allow it to drop to 0.22 per cent of GNI which will be the result if the $224 million cuts stand," Senator Rhiannon said.


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