Here’s why your opinion on the foreign aid budget matters… 215



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Australia’s foreign aid is one of the most talked about topics of the last 24 hours. There was fear that cuts were going to be announced in the May 2015 budget and there has been a lot of talk about eye rolling from our own foreign minister, Julie Bishop. But it was confirmed yesterday that there would be no cuts to the budget.

Last year in the May 2014 budget, Foreign Aid was capped at $5 billion annually for two years and was set to grow after that based on inflation indexation.

$5 billion is a lot. But in comparison to the rest of the budget – it isn’t a lot.

Last year, I published an image that I received with my tax return showing us just how much of my tax dollars had been spent on what.

As you can see, foreign aid is a very small portion.



We then asked you where should receive more spending and where should receive less spending. We were quite surprised with the results: 27 per cent said health should receive more and 23 per cent said welfare should receive more. Then 22 per cent of you said that foreign aid should receive less funding.

So do we really believe that?

The general public cried out when it was going to be cut saying that was inhumane and unfair, but the reality is that are we too selfish to really care?

So share your thoughts today… Do you care about foreign aid? Do you think we should give more, less or the same? Share your thoughts…

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. We give far too much to other countries while there are Australians who are struggling. When our own backyard is perfect then, and only then, should we look over the fence.

    1 REPLY
    • We are looking over the fence at 300 million in Indonesia. If we don’t help them god help us. I used to say to my dad I don’t agree with foreign aid and he used to say we have no choice. They could invade us in a heart beat if we don’t do this. Still don’t agree but we have no choice here.

      1 REPLY
      • that is a misconception, the Indos are not military equipped to invade our country. never have been, never will be, so don’t sit at home worrying about them.

  2. I know many over sixties do it tough, but in many countries we would not even be alive. It is selfish not to offer help.

    3 REPLY
    • Many countries do not have any welfare system at all. So it is doubly hard on them when they’re hit by an earthquake, tidal wave, cyclone, etc, etc,

    • So Sue does that mean that because we are 60& over that we don’t matter? Why not just line us all up and shoot us if we’re so useless!

    • Of course we matter. I was just making the point that Australia has a high life expectancy, unlike many other countries, and we must consider that we are therefore much better off, even if we are struggling.

  3. Humanity is at risk …we are one at the risk of being shouted down ..aussies are spoilt…even older ones…keep giving ….

    10 REPLY
    • what is humanity at risk from? Global warming? well this Government is doing nothing about it what is the point in helping everyone else?..we are bigger polluters than many of these Island Nations

      1 REPLY
      • Libbi you are always so negative and always bashing Abbott. The Labor mob gave us all this debt and it has to be reined in. As for Global warming that is all propaganda put out by those who are looking after the big money they make from this scam.

    • Libbi ,humanity is at risk from greed…everyone ( me included ) wants it all …kids today have so much and want even more….the island nations appear to be happy with what they have…..i have traveled to many third world countries , they deserve our ,water & shelter is a basic human right an we are rich enough to provide it ..

    • Rosanna what about our own people dosent charity start at home we have people living below the poverty line they want to dismantle medicare and destroy our health and education standards and these countries they want to help have rich governments that dont even help their own people so where does the money go this what they should be asking before they just hand money willy nilly to some of these countries i believe in helping them but not to the detriment of our own country

    • Have you given a thought to the fact that if we continue to give and even more than we are at present, we all will have to cop it sweet when eventually there will be no more to give even to those who really need it whether they are Australian or from wherever, yes give where possible but be practical, you dont empty the cupboard, and then expect someone else to fill it for you, because when our resourses are played out who do you think will help us, NO ONE, we are rich HA, put brain into gear before you speak.

    • Oh for gods sake Australia is one of the richest countries in the world tony abbott and the liberals would have you believe we are already broke!! Perhaps if we stopped fighting wars which we didn’t start there would be enough totally agree with rosanna, some people need to stop sticking their head in sand and wake up this is everyone’s issue!

    • I’m not spoilt libbi! U obviously have money. I worked two jobs all my life got no super and never asked for a thing Thank-you! I’m 60 and retired, I had my pension disappear because of ABBOTT and now live on $200. pw because of him! I have been told I have to now go back to work till 69.I definitely don’t deserve this thanks!

    • I agree with u Suzanne, help ur own people living the way we do below the poverty level, and ABBOTT Did it to us by deliberately attacking people of pension age!

  4. Why do we send money overseas when according to the government we are broke? Deeper in debt? I find politics hard, if not impossible, to understand. So who does the government represent?

    6 REPLY
    • And stupid people vote for them and now they are higher in poll since being elected. Doesnt figure unless something is terribly wrong or they are just liars

    • They will never fix anything u idiot. Howard and ABBOTT have caused a hell of a mess, they only care about what they can get out of it and because they have spent sooo much money they are now attacking all of us to make it up! If u don’t believe me read the figures that have been floating around For mths about the mess howard caused and then handed on to LABOUR!

  5. Money won’t fix our woes, not like it can aid 3rd world countries to help rebuild or become self sufficient. Too much social division here.

  6. I have always been in favor of helping others but when big fat hockey gets his big behind on tv and wants to cut the CPI rise and bring in this welfare card..I say look after your own first..if we are that broke why are we helping every other country?

    8 REPLY
  7. We provide aid to overseas countries because we have a Treaty, as other countries do. Australia is a wealthy country by other countries’ standards.

    3 REPLY
    • We have sent aid to a couple of countries richer than us – Indonesia is a glaring example. I can’t remember the other countries but I know there are some – so I’m off to research it. Back later!

    • Here I am again, Christa. The following are the countries we give foreign aid to. It’s mind boggling, although, with the exception of Indonesia and maybe the Philippines, most of these countries aren’t all that wealthy. I don’t know why we’d be giving aid to Latin America and the Caribbean.

      •Burma •Cambodia •Indonesia •Laos •Mongolia •Philippines •
      Timor-Leste •Vietnam – Latin America and the Caribbean • Program overview Middle East and North Africa • Palestinian Territories •Syria crisis – Pacific Ocean •Cook Islands •Federated States of Micronesia •Fiji •Kiribati •Nauru •Niue • Papua New Guinea •Regional Pacific •Republic of Palau •Republic of the Marshall Islands •Samoa •Solomon Islands •Tokelau •Tonga •Tuvalu •Vanuatu •Afghanistan •
      Bangladesh •Bhutan •Maldives •Nepal •Pakistan •Regional South and West Asia •Sri Lanka

    • Thanks Judy. I hadn’t got time to research all the countries we provided aid to, I just knew we had signed a Treaty. Heaven forbid that Australia should need aid!

  8. How much aid goes to the coal face & how much goes to administration, how much goes to corrupt politicians? Some transparency would be good,

    8 REPLY
    • I suspect that, but it’s time we know the truth it’s our hard working tax payers dollars they are spending!

    • All true. We work hard for our money and have to work for longer so we can TRY and ENJOY our retirement.

    • What retirement Susan Forday. We aren’t allowed to retire ABBOTT won’t let us! But the pollies can retire at 47 on $450,000 py! we have to work till 69! What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, I say!

    • Sue Packer would you please be able to tell me where you obtained this information? I am 67 and can retire any time I like. I would love to know which politicians are retiring on $450,000.00 per year. Please do tell.

    • Well Marie you can retire whenever you want because you can afford it. God knows you would not survive on a pension alone. Liberals made sure of that. Politicians have a massive superannuation and very generous conditions of retirement and don’t pretend you didn’t know that. Not 450k py aggreed but over many years with generous conditions of cars travel etc etc they have very very very good retirement benefits.

    • Mate, please don’t stalk me on Facebook. That isn’t being a Facebook friend. I started work at 15. Apart from 10 years at home to bring up my children I have worked my whole life, put my children through Uni by myself. I have never ever received a handout from the government and am still working in the hope of not being reliant on the aged pension. There was no employer funded superannuation for over half of my life and I have never been in a position to add much myself. If I am lucky I will own my home and have around $150,000.00 in super by the time I am 69 when I hope to be able to retire. So yes, I can retire under current rules, whenever I wish to but I would have to receive the government pension which I am trying to avoid. I would also have to sell my house and move to a cheaper suburb. Yes some politicians have very conditions and some work long and hard for what they get. Anybody can put their hand up to go into politics – look at Ricky Muir.

    • My position is very similar to yours i have to sell my house and i have 3 dependants to support after retirement. Lucky if i will have $200k after 30 years as a geologist.
      I don’t stalk you i reply to many comments made by silly people as you do.

  9. I agree with foreign aid but it doesn’t always go to the right place, Vanuatu for example should be given every assistance yet I question the billions given to Indonesia in the last 10 years as it does not seem to filter through to their citizens. How much do we assist Papua New Guinea?

    2 REPLY
    • A lot of our money to Indonesia is probably funding military equipment to keep the West Papuan people under suppression.

    • Yes I don’t mind giving it to Vanuatu but I just wish the houses being built were more substantial. They live in a cyclone prone area and they keep having to rebuild and we keep helping. It is not rocket bloody science. I understand they have their traditions but our economy is fractured at the moment. As for Indonesia, why are we helping them???

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