Markets & Justice

Markets & Justice
Freely operating markets yield a just outcome?

White Australia Has A Black History

White Australia Has A Black History

Monday, 22 December 2014

Australia cuts its aid budget

Picture at left from here

As World Vision's Tim Costello puts it: "Julie was in there fighting. She was rolled. Her new aid paradigm is in tatters."

The indefatigable Bishop was in Papua New Guinea, the second-largest recipient of Australian aid, on Monday when Treasurer Joe Hockey revealed $3.7 billion in cuts to the foreign aid budget as an aside while releasing his mid-year budget update.

Hockey's press conference, with Finance Minister Mathias Cormann, was surreal on a number of counts, but mostly because the nation's attention was singularly focused on the siege at Sydney's Martin Place that ended so tragically in the early hours of Tuesday.

Hockey began with a monologue utterly at odds with reality. He reported that the government had made "a good start" to the budget repair task, that the economy had continued to "strengthen" during the year despite "significant offshore headwinds", and that the budget was "on track for a credible surplus".

Much of the commentary that followed commended the Treasurer for not taking the "austerity option" of slashing domestic programs or increasing taxes and charges to offset collapsing revenues. The foreign aid cut received almost as scant attention as the slashing of the Australian Human Rights Commission's budget (an act that smacked of retribution).