The Coalition is promising to cut $4.5 billion off the aid budget over the forward estimates. This is a sound decision, although it would be preferable if the Coalition also withdrew from the Millennium Development Goal of 0.5% of Gross National Income. I had previously written
It is disappointing that the Australian voters will not be presented with an option at the next election for reducing the amount Australia spends on foreign aid …
Well at least there is an option presented at this election to reduce aid spending, even if only temporarily. I also noted
As Helen Hughes and others have shown on many occasions, foreign aid can entrench poverty and cost lives. It reduces the incentives for countries to grow through trade and economic activity. It embeds and encourages corruption. It preserves tyrants and dictators (and their cronies) in office. And it funds a global elite who like to control not only how people behave, but what they think.
I know several employees of AusAID who privately admit that it is unable to sensibly spend its existing budget allocation, let alone any increase.
Michelle Grattan writes of the Coalition’s announcement
On moral grounds, this cut is reprehensible.
But what of the immorality of wasting taxpayers’ money on aid projects that are ineffective, poorly managed, wasteful and which crowd out private activity? Why should Australian taxpayers help keep the UN and World Bank elite in their tax-free jobs?
It is not moral for government to tax its citizens to fund foreign aid projects. Morality belongs to individuals not to collectives like the government.