WHAT: Australian Greens Senator and foreign aid spokesperson
WHEN: From 7.30pm Thursday 14 December 2013
WHERE: Foreign Affairs Committee – tune in http://www.aph.gov.au/News_and_Events
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon will today question AusAID officials about the expected impact of the government’s decision to cut $375 million off the existing aid budget to pay for the living expenses of asylum seekers being processed in Australia.
It is now clear that more than $50 million will be diverted from the Pacific budgets, $38 million from Indonesia, $10 million from East Timor, $14 million from Cambodia, $5m from Burma and $6million from Laos.
Greens Senator Lee Rhiannon said:
“The government’s decision to pillage the aid budget to pay for onshore processing is a bankrupt one.
“Understanding the impact of these cuts on the provision of foreign aid in key countries in our region is critical.
“Australia’s aid budget should not be used to prop up the Gillard government’s failed refugee policy, robbing our neighbourhood of support to end poverty and disadvantage.