Greens move to reaffirm tripartite commitment to overseas aid budget
The Greens will move a motion in both houses of parliament next week seeking to reaffirm the tripartite commitment to the target of at least 0.5% of gross national income going to overseas aid by 2015.
"Australians are a very generous and kind-hearted people who understand our place as a rich country surrounded by very poor neighbours and personally give a lot of money to help people around the world," Australian Greens Leader, Senator Christine Milne, said.
"The government has committed to the Millennium Development Goals, aspiring to lift people the world over out of dreadful poverty. Our aid budget needs to keep rising to well beyond 0.5% of GNI if we are to do that.
"The numbers are stark. 18 of our 20 nearest neighbours are developing countries. In East Timor, 1 in 44 women die in childbirth, a tragic toll Australian support can go a long way to lowering.
"It's hard to actually wrap your head around the fact that, around the world, 22,000 children under five die every single day. We can and must do what we can to help.
"Next week's budget risks putting Labor's political promise of reaching a surplus ahead of the interests of not only some of the world's poorest people but also of those here at home who are struggling.
"We need a firm commitment to putting dental care into Medicare, an increase in the Newstart allowance so that people can actually live on it, and a plan to get a properly funded National Disability Insurance Scheme up and running.
"The Greens are the only party proposing savings measures to fund these vital reforms, calling on the government to scrap the tax cuts for big business and save $16 billion over ten years, and to remove the diesel fuel rebate for mining corporations that is worth $2 billion a year."
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