Peter Khalil, Federal Member for Wills, has added his voice to mounting criticism of the Turnbull Government’s persistent cuts to overseas aid, following reports that the Government is mulling over further cuts in the forthcoming budget.
A report by Fairfax Media this morning stated that the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade is “modelling” ways to slice 10 per cent from aid budget despite cuts by the Abbott-Turnbull Governments having already reduced Australia’s aid contribution to just 22 cents for every $100 of gross national income, the smallest share on record.
When asked by Labor Senators to rule out any further cuts to Australia’s development, Liberal Senator Connie Fierravanti-Wells was only able to say “I’m sure you’ll all stay tuned on budget night.”
“This is really disturbing. This Coalition government has already cut billions from our aid budget. Now they are looking at cutting another $400 million,” said Mr Khalil.
“They fundamentally misunderstand that our aid and development assistance is actually critical to our national interest, it lifts millions out of poverty and works to create stability and security in our region and across the globe.”
“Furthermore, in the context of their $65 billion tax cut for big business, they are funding that tax handout at the expense of some of the world’s poorest people”
Prior to entering Parliament, Mr Khalil worked as a foreign policy and national security adviser, including as a senior international adviser to the Australian Government.