One of the most shameful parts of the 2016 budget are the cuts to overseas aid, Greens aid and development spokesperson Senator Lee Rhiannon said.
“This savage cut, which has driven down Australia’s overseas aid to its lowest level ever, is further proof that Treasurer Scott Morrison cannot be trusted,” Senator Rhiannon said.
“In his first speech in parliament Mr Morrison gave great emphasis to the value of overseas aid. He said 'the need (for aid) is not diminishing, nor can our support. It is the Australian thing to do.'"
"That same man has just cut a further $224 million from an already decimated aid budget, bringing the cuts to aid by the Turnbull-Abbott government since 2013 to a total of $11 billion.
"Our overseas aid investment is at a shameful 0.23 per cent of our GNI. Twenty three cents per every $100 of national income is the lowest aid commitment we have ever had since aid funding records began over 50 years ago.
“Even by Australia’s own terrible overseas aid standards this is a cruel blow. It is an indictment of the Coalition’s attitude towards the world’s most vulnerable people.
“Australia is a rich country. We can afford to increase our aid budget to save lives and assist disadvantaged communities.
“In his past life as a backer of overseas aid, Mr Morrison went so far as to invoke one of the key slogans of the aid organisations, ‘Make poverty history’, in his first parliamentary speech.
“He said, ‘We have all heard the call to make poverty history. Let us do this by first making poverty our own personal business’.
“The answer to Mr Morrison’s betrayal will now become ‘Make Morrison history’.” Senator Rhiannon said.