Scoop's Sludge report tells it like it is on the government's miserly allocation for foreign aid in the budget:
Budget 2006 includes $21million annually for Overseas Development Aid. This takes NZ's ODA contribution as a percentage of GDP from 0.27% to 0.28%. At this rate of gain the stated aim of 0.7% of GDP will be achieved in 2048.
In 2000, the government signed up to the UN Millenium Development Goals, which included a commitment to raising aid to the international benchmark of 0.7% of GDP by 2015. According to a report from NZAid, this goal was reaffirmed by Cabinet in August 2003. With this pathetic increase, we're reneging on that promise to the world's poor. We're even reneging on our own somewhat pathetic target of increasing aid to 0.35% of GDP by 2010. Instead, we're going to be just another nation which talks a fine talk on global development - but does not pull its weight.
Once upon a time, Labour used to be better than this. In the 70's, under Norman Kirk, they boosted foreign aid to its highest level ever - 0.52% of GDP. Since then, the story has been one of steady decline [PDF]. Is it too much to expect that Labour remembers its roots, adopts an internationalist outlook, and actually keeps its promises?