Is cutting aid from Indonesia the right thing to do? 630



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After the saddening deaths of Myuran Sukamaran and Andrew Chan last week at the hands of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, there’s been rumours about the long term implications of this – including withdrawing some of the $600 million in aid we provide to the country every year. Some Aussies have said it is wrong but Indonesian’s Foreign Ministry spokesperson has said, “Indonesia at the moment is no longer a country that needs aid for development,” proving unworried if we do cut foreign financial aid.

Currently, Indonesia is Australia’s largest beneficiary of foreign aid with $600 million given to the country last year. We also have a heavy and valuable trade relationship with the country worth around $15 billion. The majority of the relationship sits on cattle and wheat exports and this causes people to believe it’s more valuable to Australia than it is to Indonesia.

Although the cuts to foreign aid being discussed in the media this week have been linked to the 2015/2016 budget and not the executions of the Australian men, it is a little coincidental.

Speaking to the media yesterday, Indonesia’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir shared his thoughts about the weakening of the relationship saying, “Indonesia at the moment is no longer a country that needs aid for development.”

“Nevertheless, any aid given by Australia is their effort to increase, to strengthen our partnership. And so, it’s their right to give, but Indonesia is not asking.”

So does the fact that they don’t need Australia’s foreign aid investment make it a more appropriate use of funds here? Could that perhaps to towards our welfare or health system instead – somewhere the beneficiary will actually appreciate it instead? Share your thoughts in the comments below…

Should we stop all foreign aid? Especially if they don’t need it? 

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  1. They don’t need it….our pensioners do. We should support our own country and citizens first. Reduce foreign aid and cut politicians expenses.

    5 REPLY
  2. Please do not forget and a huge chunk of the aid that Australia gives to Indonesia actually benefits Australia. If aid is stopped, Australia will face additional cost elsewhere in connection with illegal immigration, defense, and anti-terrorist activities.

    26 REPLY
    • I agree with you Berndt. We will have to consider all avenues before cutting aid. We have to take the best action for Australia.

    • I’m assuming that we want the Indonesian security forces to be able to work efficiently with Australian forces. Just like Australian officers need training, the Indonesians do too.

    • They know it…. i still think it should be cut right down…. i dont think the cuts have anything to do with executions. Its to do with our floundering economy.

    • Christine, you will notice that Indonesia has said that they do not need the Australian aid, but, as I said to begin with, this might cause other problems for Australia.

    • So what! Let’s just see how we fare without this rabble of corrupt cops and Govt officials always being brought down by greed and theft from others. And there is the small matter of PNG abuse and murder going on. Imagine your teens go over to Bali, and get drugs planted on them! A very real scenario to contemplate due to the hatred they have for Australians especially now. How would parents cope with trying to prove it was a set up! Not a hope in hell. Bali is probably the most dangerous place on earth for young Aussies, but you watch them flood in at Xmas time.

    • Our country is ‘floundering’ are you mad?! We have just entered the 3rd tier of the boom. A supply and demand and an investment Boom. Fir christ sake do your research! Ignorant comments just give Abbott oxygen!

    • I have never encountered any hatred for Australians in Indonesia, Robina, and frankly, I think that the idea of drugs being planted is a myth – it’s the eternal excuse by the drug smugglers (hard to argue, when you have the stuff strapped to your body, though….).

    • Bernt the simmering hatred was displayed by the Muslim component of the population during the Abbott fuelled chest thrusting period. The Joke went around to schools and Unis to ask what the young people wanted, they screamed for blood! Would the small matter of the Bali bombers come to your mind Berndt, and that none of the people involved and convicted have been executed! They in fact lead a very comfortable prison existence, they get to breathe! Patronising brown people by saying one’s tourist $ ‘helps’ them to actually stay poor is something I have never done. Such an insult to them, and you don’t think they are aware of it? Really naive Berndt.

    • Robina, the problem is that there is too much mis-information in the media and some people buy into it. First of all, the 3 master-minds of the Bali-bombing were executed. Secondly, the Bali-bombing was not targeted towards Australians. It was targeted against Westerners, mainly Americans (and I lived in Indonesia at the time and lost friends in the bombings). Most Indonesians were indifferent about the recent executions – they really could not care. What upset people was the behaviour of Australian politicians and the Australian media. It is very arrogant to believe that you can interfere in the laws of a sovereign nation. How would you feel, if Indonesia started to tell Australia, how to treat Indonesians in Australia ?

    • Robina Burns i have it on good authority that the Australian economy is floundering…straight out of the mouths of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey.

    • If you were to travel to Indonesia (and I will be going tomorrow), you would probably be surprised to see that many Indonesians are doing very well and not as poor, as you might think.

    • You very obviously have a good brain in your head Berndt Rudiger Olesen and see the much bigger picture, not just the hyped up media stories…

    • So what are you saying? we pay Indonesia Billions of dollars so we do not have asylum seekers??
      Please get away from the Abbott sayings, these people are asylum seekers.
      Why is it in Europe and every where else in the world these people are asylum seekers except Australia ?
      Why do we have to spend billions on dollars to these countries, when we have a budget emergency??
      We need the money spent in this country.
      Look after your own and it will repay you in tax dollars.
      Give money away and get nothing.
      When countries are starving Yes help then.
      By giving Food and shelter not Money.
      Indonesia does not need the money so stop it now.
      Giving Indonesia money to keep asylum seekers away?
      That is not aid it is bribery .

  3. If they don’t need it, cut it off. There’s plenty of things to spend in on in Australia. Doesn’t charity begin at home?

    5 REPLY
  4. Maybe it’s time to re-think the situation and reign it in a bit, but not to the detriment of our farmers.

    11 REPLY
    • Our farmers are being stuffed on a daily basis, with New Zealand aiding and abetting Chinese produce coming via their country.

    • Lesley, with Indonesia it’s the cattle farmers who may lose. We have a $15 billion trade relationship with Indonesia, mostly cattle and wheat. $600 million compared to $15 billiion is a big difference and withdrawing aid may well destroy that relationship. A very difficult situation for our government, whichever party it is.

    • Agree with your comment Judy Green, but if Indonesia do not want our aid, which appears to them as a “handout to grease their palms”, then why not use that aid for the benefit of our struggling “home grown” farmers/pastoralists, whom we should be supporting, to produce & sustain us into the future?
      We reap what we sow & we should be able to feed our own country, just saying! No offence!

    • That’s the problem, there’s so much we could do with it here but not to the detriment of our primary producers. Tempting as it is to cut it, where will we be sending our beef etc? We just can’t think of ourselves. What if, we continued it with part of the payment secured to go towards some social or welfare work in Indonesia and having proof of the expenditure towards those programs . Maybe there could be a win -win situation so that those in the greatest need were guaranteed at least 40% of the funds. Would people feel happier about that?. We have to protect our farmers and beef producers and at the same time allocate stipulations to help the impoverished.

    • where will they get their beef from then let them go else where and see the quallity they get they will starve

    • They can’t feed their own people, so they’re hardly going to stop buying our produce are they. I wouldn’t be upset if farmers had to find another market if it meant the end of live transport personally. Sick to death of dollars meaning more than moral values, there are plenty of countries out there that we could deal with that have some decency.

    • i fthey want our beef they can have it in the freezer not any other way , go to hell if that doesn,t suit you, its time we stand up and being counted not cowtowing to bloody asia ,having firstquality products we will sell it they want they will buy either way ,lets grow a backbone, to be honest jenny hill i dont give a damn if they can feed themselves , their whole attitude makes my skin crawl, and for the ones still here if they dont like our way of life or attitudes f off home to indonesia and be done with it, i know were some of the 6oo mil should go to the pensioners , try existing on the old age pension what a joke, i do i speak out of experience ,one meal a day , not buying luxuries, turning the penny should i buy food or a cup of coffe, than you have the utilities on your neck do you truly want to go on, how about ever increasing rent yes with housing too,when a increase they hold their hand out and we see nothing of the money cause the amount of increase is a insulting joke! i would have cut foreign aid a long time ago , so sorry but ours come first!

  5. If they have said they dont need it, and we do Why are we giving it?maybe its time to look at all the money we give in forign aid, and re evaluate our priorities, charity begins at home

  6. They’re like petulant children saying they don’t want it, but they’ll sulk if they don’t get it. Why do we worry so much about them anyway? They’re useless.

    2 REPLY
    • It is the size of their army their close proximity to us and our vast coastline which is niegh on impossible to patrol.

    • Ah, the new version of the dreaded “Yellow Peril”! This version I can actually identify with, especially since it comes with the additional tag of “Muslim”…as in “the largest Muslim nation in the world”.

  7. If only it was that easy and without repercussions.

    3 REPLY
    • It has been that way for many years Michele Weymouth and it will only get worse. We will be dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t and people can point their finger at The Libs as much as they like but it has been both sides that have got it wrong for years. Along with many other issues. Pauline Hanson warned them on many issues and what happened to her for speaking up ????

    • It has been that way for many years Michele Weymouth and it will only get worse. We will be dammed if we do and dammed if we don’t and people can point their finger at The Libs as much as they like but it has been both sides of Government that have got it wrong for years. Along with many other issues. Pauline Hanson warned them. There are so issues today that if looked at 10 plus year ago they would NOT be a problem today. Instead just as it is the same now, Pauline was a threat and both sides did everything possible to be rid of her and to discredit each other, they had no time or agenda to actually govern. I hate the situation our government is in. Very little backbone in either party and the Greens and PLP and their drop outs along with the biased Media makes our parliment a joke. God Help Us Please !!! We need some honest Australia caring people to step forward and run for government. Is there ANY out there anywhere.

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