Michael Smith has brought my attention to this article written by SMH’s Latika Bourke on 13 April 2017. Predictably, it’s the usual self-loathing plop that we’ve become accustomed to no longer paying money for:
Australia should follow the British Conservative government’s lead in enshrining its aid budget in legislation to prevent it from being diminished in an appeal for votes, leading campaigners say, with the OECD listing Australia as among the countries recording the biggest declines in aid for the world’s poorest people.
The OECD’s latest rankings show Australia slipping another spot to 17th out of 29 countries – meaning small countries like Switzerland and Luxembourg are contributing a greater portion of their budgets to helping the world’s neediest compared to Australia.
A country’s aid budget is generally measured as a proportion of a nation’s gross national income (GNI). Under Foreign Minister Julie Bishop’s cuts to the budget, Australia’s total contribution fell to just over $3 billion in 2016, or 0.25 per cent of GNI. This was below the average of 0.32 per cent of GNI recorded by the 29 OECD countries last year.
Now, let’s do a quick fact check on Latika’s work. Here’s what Australia spent on foreign affairs and economic aid in 2015-16 (see page 5-13) – about $5.5 billion:
Now here’s what is likely to be spent for 2016-17 (see page 6-13) – about $6.7 billion:
PS: did you notice how the budget will be completely blown out from $6.1 billion to $6.7 billion?
Now let’s go one level deeper and zero in on foreign aid:
For 2015-16 (see page 5-14):
And for 2016-17 (see page 6-14):
Again: did you notice how the budget will be blown out from $3.9 billion to $4.3 billion?
Perhaps if Bourke bothered to read the budget papers instead of listening to ‘leading campaigners’, she’d have had the right numbers and could have found something more productive to write about.
That aside, don’t you just love the extreme left? On days such as Anzac Day, they’re telling us that we’re being ‘too nationalistic’; but then – without even a hint of awareness of their pathetic hypocrisy – tell us that ‘small countries’ like Switzerland (that happen to be far more advanced and richer than Australia) are ’embarrassing’ us in the foreign aid to GNI stakes.
In writing her story, I also wonder if Bourke factored in the amount Australia spends under the UNHRC Resettlement Program (of which Australia is one of only 37 ‘taking’ members) in properly resettling refugees:
Hello? Switzerland? Luxembourg? It’s Australia calling from the top 3 here: where the bloody hell are you?
PS: I say ‘properly resettling’ (i.e. spending real money) because the left seems to think that refugees flooding into neighbouring countries to sit in squalid camps somehow counts as ‘resettlement’ – to the point where they appear to think that Turkey is apparently the most generous country on Earth!
When you add up all the resettlement costs and ongoing welfare payments that Australia provides (see here for example), they would comfortably dwarf the ‘metric’ of choice being used by Bourke and SMH as an excuse to self-hate Australia – which, in any event, amounts to little more than piffle-lite as shown above.