While the release date for the 2018-19 Federal Budget is Tuesday 8 May 2018, Ministers will be making decisions on measures to include in the Budget between now and late March, so now is the time to let the Government know what we are looking for in the Budget. We have already seen in the last few weeks media reports on Budget proposals by industry and professional groups, as stakeholders promote their priorities.
RESULTS Australia has responded to the invitation from the Federal Treasurer to make a Budget submission each year since 2005. RESULTS sent its submission to the 2018-19 Budget on 18 December 2017, and our proposals for the Budget include the following initiatives:
- To give effect to development goals set out in the Foreign Policy White Paper, an increase in Australia’s overall official development assistance (ODA) to 0.3% of gross national income (GNI), or $6.45 billion, by 2021-22, including an increase in ODA of approximately $500 million in 2018-19, will enable Australia to rebuild programs which have been cut in recent years, and fund important new health and education initiatives.
- In line with RESULTS Australia’s current campaign, to increase Australia’s contribution to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) to $200 million for 2018 to 2020. (The GPE replenishment meeting is taking place on 2 February.)
- To complement Australia’s joint funding with the World Bank for tuberculosis (TB) programs in Papua-New Guinea (announced last year), maintain support for testing and treatment of TB in Papua-New Guinea at $12.5 million per year.
- Increase support for vaccination programs in countries which will be losing funding from the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) and Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, such as Papua-New Guinea, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
RESULTS Australia draws on its Budget submission in developing requests for our letters to and meetings with MPs, so the submission sets the scene for our advocacy during the year. The submission also provides MPs a fuller picture of our priorities, which is valuable for those MPs who know us primarily from our work on one issue. This year, we have sent the submission to Ministers and Shadow Ministers for Foreign Affairs and International Development, chairs of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committees and the Co-chairs of the Australian TB Caucus.
We invite you to get to know our Budget recommendations and share them with your MP when you have the opportunity.
Written by Mark Rice, Policy and Advocacy Manager, RESULTS Australia