Furthermore, consider this, by withdrawing our funding from
countries that are in desperate need of stability, we are essentially
encouraging refugees to flee these regions. So, either Abbot wasn’t
serious about his admittedly appalling promise to stop the boats, or
he just really hasn’t thought this one through.
Aside from the devastating impacts on others, what is truly tragic
is the fact that we are pulling a thin, threadbare blanket of safety
from those who need it most, to build a few Australian roads. When
did it become okay for us to balance the books on the backs of the
poor? Our shiny new roads come at the expense of people’s lives.
Abbot argues that ‘We can’t continue to fund a massive increase in
foreign aid at the expense of investment in the Australian economy,’’
and continues to demonstrate his obsession with our budget deficit.
But what our political leader glaringly fails to acknowledge, is the
fact that our economy is only struggling relative to itself, and our
budget deficit is the smallest in the OECD (Organisation for
Economic Co-operation and Development).
Furthermore, Tony; if Australia’s economy is really in such a
pickle, explain to me why it is that the Australian government has
already set aside $11 million dollars as an ‘initial grant’ for the 2018
Commonwealth Games, when we literally share the games with
people in developing countries who physically can’t run 100m
because they are malnourished and living in poverty? It’s simply
incorrect to argue that Australia doesn’t have the money to spend.
It’s more a question of where our skewed priorities are directing our
In defence of Abbot’s decision, many commentators reasonably
argue that much of Australian tax-payer money intended for foreign
aid does not reach the countries in need, and really, does little to
improve conditions in recipient countries. Let me be clear. It has
never been claimed that aid is a panacea for global poverty. We know,
and Australian tax-payers know, that aid has only ever been regarded
as part of the solution, along with many other strategies including
boosting trade, sensible macroeconomic policies and private sector
And the alleged corruption I mentioned, well let’s put that into
perspective. Over seven years of AusAID’s operation, only 0.017%
of Australia’s total foreign aid money was considered losses due to
fraud and corruption. That’s about $1.70 for every $10,000. Let’s