Asking Joe the hard questions on aid cuts

$1 billion in cuts to aid in the 2015 budget have seen us slump to 13th amongst aid donors in the OECD. We asked Joe Hockey if he thinks the cuts are fair.

Treasurer Joe Hockey told Australians that the 2015 Federal Budget was responsible, measured and fair.

But when asked on the ABC’s Q&A program on 25 May if he thought cutting aid to its lowest levels ever reflected the fairness and generosity of Australians, he struggled to get the facts right.

Posing the question was Sashenka Lakshmanasingha, National Director of World Vision’s youth movement, VGen.

In his response, Joe rejected the claim that our aid budget is now the least generous ever. But once the cuts have been implemented, aid will be back in real terms to 2005-06 levels, even though our GDP is 40 percent bigger.

Australians are generous people. But despite the government’s denials, as a nation we are going backwards when it comes to aid. We may be ranked as the 8th-largest economy in the OECD, but we are now the OECD’s 13th-largest aid donor, slipping one place from last year.

The $1 billion in cuts to the 2015 Australian aid budget have already forced World Vision to halt life-changing work around the world, including an education project reaching 10,000 children in South Sudan and a HIV mitigation project in India.

You can tell us whether you think the Budget is fair by going to

You can also help make Australia a lifter not a leaner when it comes to ending extreme poverty by joining the Campaign for Australian Aid.

In the coming weeks the campaign will turn its attention to world leaders as they meet to finalise the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will frame the global development agenda for the next 15 years.

We need to make sure that the SDGs put the world’s most promising people living in poor communities first, so that we can all enjoy a fairer future.