Australia: Cash to Africa is for Rudd’s ego
This is good Australian Tax Payer money being flushed down the dunny – all for the ego of a politician. Since when is a politician allowed to play monopoly with our money? When did it all become about them – are they not there to serve their PEOPLE? How about “Charity begins at home”?
When he’s not expelling Israeli diplomats to appease Muslim countries, Rudd is offering aid bribes to African ones who may likewise back Kevin Rudd’s desperate campaign for a temporary seat on the UN Security Council.
AUSTRALIA will pump more than $400 million in foreign aid into Africa by 2015, as Prime Minister Kevin Rudd chases a seat on the United Nations Security Council.
Aid funding for Africa will more than double – from $163 million this year – despite Australia having few historical ties with the continent.
The rise in spending will see hundreds of millions spent on helping Africa develop better farming practices while thousands of “development awards” will be offered.
But the money will also help promote Australian Rules football, provide hundreds of bicycles and furnish poor communities with thousands of desks for learning.
The increase came as the Opposition yesterday called for an independent inquiry into Australia’s $4.3 billion aid program. This followed an investigation by The Daily Telegraph that revealed tens of millions of dollars were being wasted on paying mega-salaries to consultants and lucrative contracts to private firms.
The revelations sparked a political brawl with Opposition foreign affairs spokeswoman Julie Bishop calling on the Government to ensure taxpayers were not getting ripped off.
Last night, Ms Bishop lashed out at the plan to increase funds for Africa, claiming it was being “undermined by Kevin Rudd’s ego trip for a seat on the UN Security Council”.
Foreign Minister Stephen Smith was forced to defend the Government’s handling of the foreign aid program yesterday.
He said the program was improving and the Government was already moving to review the number of private consultants. “The point is to do those things sensibly and systematically in conjunction with donor countries,” he said.
World Vision head Tim Costello defended the aid to Africa, claiming Australians have a “profound” relationship with the continent.
Senior AusAID figures have said that more than $400 million will be spent in Africa within five years – by which time AusAID will have an annual budget of about $8 billion.