Labor Party commits to increasing the aid budget

Penny Wong, Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

RESULTS Australia were very happy to learn about the commitment the Australian Labor Party made to increase the aid budget at their Conference earlier this week.

The resolution passed (copied in full below) commits the Labor Party to increasing the overseas aid program each year should they gain office, with a target of at least 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income eventually.

Potential doubling of aid budget

This is certainly welcome news, particularly since the aid budget currently sits at its lowest level in Australia’s history at a pitiful 0.23 per cent. RESULTS wants both sides of politics to commit to the internationally-agreed target of 0.7 per cent of GNI.

Senator Penny Wong said at the Labor Conference this week: “We believe in an Australia that is generous-hearted, that recognises our responsibility to be internationalist, to try to build a better world, and aid is part of that. We want to do more because it is the right thing to do for Australia.

“Labor believes Australia should do its fair share internationally. We all believe Australia can show humanity, decency and compassion because we believe in a fair go for all at home, on our doorstep and abroad,” Senator Penny Wong concluded.

Aid program should go further

Amelia Christie, CEO of RESULTS Australia said: “After many years of cuts to the aid program we welcome this news and commend the promise of 0.5 per cent of GNI but believe it could, and should, go further. We want to see a substantial commitment and timeline from both major parties about how the aid program will be restored to meaningful levels to ensure the best outcomes for people living in poverty throughout our region and beyond.”

The resolution read: 

128. Labor will rebuild and grow Australia’s international development program and increase Official Development Assistance to internationally accepted levels in a timely manner. Australia should do its fair share internationally, and work with the international community to achieve the longstanding funding targets reiterated by the SDGs. Labor will, over time, achieve a funding target for the international development program of at least 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income every year that we are in office, starting with our first budget.