Wednesday, 3 February 2016
Questions without Notice
International Development Assistance
My question is to the Leader of the Government, representing the Minister for Foreign Affairs, on Australia's aid budget. The Howard government committed itself in 2000 to reach 0.7 per cent of gross national income spent on aid. In opposition, the current government committed to a 0.5 per cent target. The Millennium Development Goals target, an OECD target, is for nations to reach 0.7 per cent of GNI. However, the largest saving in the government's first budget was to reduce aid spending by some $7 billion. Australian aid today stands at 0.25 per cent of GNI, and the Parliamentary Budget Office indicates that aid will steadily decline to 0.18 per cent of GNI by 2025-26. Will the government (a) insulate Australian aid from more cuts and (b) commit to increasing aid over the forward estimates as the budget is repaired?