10 Sep 2013

Australia's policy on foreign aid cuts criticised by NZ charity

1:25 pm on 10 September 2013

A New Zealand charity has criticised Australia's new government's policy of cutting foreign aid, fearing the cuts will impact on the Pacific.

The Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott's policy to cut 4.1 billion US dollars from the foreign aid budget goes against OECD countries' commitment to increase aid to 0.5 per cent of gross national income by 2015.

The likely new Australian Treasurer Joe Hockey says the money will be diverted to overdue upgrades to Sydney's roads.

A New Zealand-based charity, The Tear Fund, says the excuses are not good enough.

Its CEO, Ian McInnes, says the cuts tell poor Pacific neighbours their development needs are not important.

The government-elect has not made it clear which countries the cuts will affect.