Misplaced priorities

31 March 2018 | Canberra Times | Peter Graves

Yet again “Overseas aid faces sweeping cutbacks” (March 29, p.4).

Yet again that time-worn excuse from the minister: no increase until a budget surplus.

Yet the government can reduce its income by handing $65 billion to companies, through tax cuts.

However, more revenue could be found in a new (Tobin) Tax of about 0.01 per cent applied to high-frequency foreign exchange transactions.

The Reserve Bank calculated FOREX trades in April 2013 averaged $US182billion each day. By contrast, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade reported Australia’s two-way trade in 2012 was $623.8 billion, or about four days FOREX trading. This suggests over 90per cent of these trades are speculative. Taxing financial speculators means extra revenue for child care, health care, aged care and Australia’s aid remedying global inequality.

This means helping the 767million people living on less than $US1.90 a day in 2013. Australia’s budget should not be balanced on the backs of the world’s poor. They share our world. We can share our wealth.

Peter Graves, Curtin