Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • The G20 Wrap: Some small steps, but no giant leaps

    Posted by Jennifer

    10 September, 2013

    “Developing countries should be able to reap the benefits of a more transparent international tax system, and to enhance their revenue capacity, as mobilizing domestic resources is critical to financing development. We recognize the importance of all countries benefitting from greater tax information exchange.” (G-20 Leaders’ Declaration, September 6, 2013) The Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, the G-20, met last week in St Petersburg to discuss a number of global challenges. Addressing the tax dodging practices of corporations and individuals which deprive governments of both developed and developing nations of valuable revenue was high on the agenda. The Leaders’ Declaration included the statement above which suggests a genuine commitment to including developing countries in this ongoing international conversation about reforming the global tax system. However, the Summit failed to produce tangible mechanisms for facilitating this inclusion. Building upon momentum formed by the G-8 and OECD forums earlier in the year,… read more

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  • What is the real impact of the Coalition's planned aid cuts?

    Posted by Ben

    9 September, 2013

    While many predicted that an incoming Coalition Government would slow the growth in the aid budget, few saw coming the depth and cruelty of the cuts they have promised. Despite having joined the ALP in making a bipartisan promise to increase aid to 0.5% of Gross National Income, the Coalition will take it backwards from its current level of 0.35% (and scheduled to reach 0.37% in the current year) to 0.32% GNI. Despite incoming Prime Minister Tony Abbott having personally declared his commitment to the 0.5% target, the Coalition will preside over the first reversal in aid growth since our nation signed on to support the Millennium Development Goals under Prime Minister John Howard. Although Prime-Minister elect, Tony Abbott, and Treasurer-elect Joe Hockey have argued that these are reductions in growth rather than cuts – this is not the case. The Coalition's own costings table (pdf – see item 9.11) shows that they plan to cut $656 million from this year's aid budget – which is money already budgeted and committed.… read more

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  • Coalition's aid announcement makes us question our identity

    Posted by John

    6 September, 2013

    Yesterday Mr Abbott, Mr Hockey and the Coalition announced a $4.5 billion cut to the foreign aid budget to fund roads in Australia. The response from the media and the public has been strong and swift. There are clearly many Australians who are committed to fighting poverty in all its forms. There are many who understand that we are dealing with the real lives of marginalised people, and not just the stroke of an accountant’s keyboard. This morning I read through more than 1200 emails that had already been sent through our site to Mr Abbott. The most striking thing for me as I read people’s comments is that this is now about more than the global poor (as if that isn’t enough). While the context is about foreign aid, it is now much bigger than that. We are now not only dealing with questions about our actions, but also with deeper questions about our identity. People are responding out of a deep disconnect between who we say we are as Australians (and aspire to be) and the current priorities of our nation. Clearly this has been driven in large… read more

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  • Halve Poverty: an organisers journey

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    4 September, 2013

    On Saturday August 31, thousands of people from churches, schools and community groups in the Warringah electorate and beyond formed the giant message "Halve Global Poverty 2015" across Manly Beach for Tony Abbott and Australia's political leaders to take notice. Susy Lee is a member of Seaforth Baptist Church and was on the organising team for Warringah's Halve Poverty event; rallying local schools and coordinating the education and advocacy tent. She reflects on her journey in the lead up to the day; and the powerful voice of the younger participants. It’s hard living in a very ‘safe’ seat. It feels like my vote doesn’t count for much. We’ve lobbied our (somewhat famous) MP several times with no feedback, so when Micah Challenge asked us to do something as part of their nation-wide Finish the Race campaign, our little church decided we needed something big and attention-getting. This was an important moment in history – we’re in Tony Abbott’s electorate! So five of us starting… read more

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