Today’s Australian contains a highly disturbing piece by Greg Sheridan detailing how Aussie Taxpayers are funding a proscribed terrorist organisation (paywall protected):
“The Australian government aid agency, Ausaid, gives millions of dollars, through the private charity World Vision, to the Union of Agricultural Work Committees, which works in the Gaza Strip. The problem is the UAWC and its personnel have deep links with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.
The PFLP is a proscribed terrorist organisation under the relevant UN list, Australian legislation and the legislation of numerous other countries. It is one of the central progenitors of modern terrorism…
It pioneered aeroplane hijackings but then in the 1980s focused on assassinating Israeli civilians and moderate Arabs…
The Rudd and Gillard governments have doubled Australian aid to the Palestinian territories, and Palestinians in nearby areas, to $70m annually. There is more than a whiff of this being an effort, hopefully forlorn, to placate the Arab vote in the run-up to our ill-advised effort to secure a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council.
But it is also an example of the wider malaise in our aid program. The decision to wildly increase the aid program, $5 billion now and set to double in the next few years if the Gillard government keeps its promises, means we cannot spend the money properly, productively or prudently.”
With Australian families already suffering under the burden of higher and higher taxes, our foreign aid budget overall is set to double in the next few years.
With overwhelming evidence that foreign aid just doesn’t work, sending more and more of our tax dollars overseas is simply unacceptable. For them to go to fund groups with known terrorist links is simply a disgrace.
With the Federal Budget coming out next week, the Gillard Government should stop trying to think of getting a UN Security Council seat, and should start thinking about doing its job and representing Australians. To reform our foreign aid program is a public policy no-brainer.
Tim Andrews is the Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance.