Oxfam Australia’s thoughts and wishes are with the people affected by the siege currently taking place today in Sydney and their families.
This afternoon the Government has decided to release the Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) figures.
As our statement earlier this morning predicted, MYEFO has resulted in a third large cut to Australia’s aid budget in just one year.
Total cuts to aid under this government are now at $11.3 billion, which Oxfam estimates represents just under 30 per cent of all savings made since Tony Abbott came to power.
Oxfam predicts that these cuts will bring Australia’s development assistance to its lowest level since 1960, at just 21 cents in every $100 of national income by 2017-18.
The cuts today are $3.7 billion. That is enough to purchase over 240 million life-saving hygiene kits for communities affected by Ebola. It is enough for around 74 million sets of basic humanitarian provisions for families affected by natural disasters. And, $3.7 billion could provide over 80 million families with clean, safe drinking water in Africa.
While Australia enjoys the place of the fourth wealthiest per capita nation, these latest cuts will bring Australian aid to its knees, paling in comparison to the aid given by other wealthy nations such as the UK, France and Germany.
A number of countries have protected their aid budgets through legislation. Today’s cuts mean we must ask the question, is it now time for the Australian government to do the same?
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