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.

  • Why I'm buying Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas

    Posted by John

    18 December, 2013

    For the last 3 years my wife and I have received goats for Christmas. The practise of buying a gift on behalf of a friend for someone in need elsewhere has become a common part of Christmas for many of us. And it’s a great idea. It makes a difference in the lives of poor people and communities while at the same time keeping some of the potential excess of Christmas in check. I confess that I mostly stay out of the gift buying in our house. I hope that most of the ‘Aussie male’ stereotypes don’t apply to me, but on this one I am guilty. But this year is different. This year I’ll be buying a goat....and giving it to my MP, Joe Hockey. Why would I buy Joe Hockey a goat this Christmas? A little bit of back story..... Many of you will know that two days before the election, my Federal MP Mr Hockey, at the time the would-be Treasurer, stood in front of the cameras and advised the Australian people that the Coalition, if elected, would be cutting $4.5 billion from the aid budget over the next 4 years, thereby breaking a promise that the… read more

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  • Making the voices of the poor heard at the G-20

    Posted by Jennifer

    9 December, 2013

    On Sunday December 1st, Australia assumed the presidency of the G-20, the pre-eminent economic forum of the world’s 20 largest economies. As President, Australia will have significant influence over the agenda and outcomes for the G-20 meetings taking place throughout the upcoming year. At Micah Challenge, we see this as the perfect opportunity for Australia to stand up for the interests of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable. In particular, we see massive potential for improvements to international taxation rules, which currently cheat developing countries of more revenue than they receive in foreign aid. The current international tax system functions in a way which fails to reflect the realities of international business in the modern era, and allows multinational corporations to shift profits out of countries where they make their profits into low-tax jurisdictions such as Switzerland, the Isle of Man or Hong Kong. This practice, known as profit shifting, is particularly damaging to developing countries, who are cheated of revenues which… read more

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  • Who pays when aid is cut?

    Posted by Ben

    10 October, 2013

    The new Government faces some tough choices on aid. The first choice is which of the Prime Minister’s statements to be true to. Will they be true to his claim that the Government will not cut aid, but merely “reduce the rate of increase”? This would mean maintaining aid at $5.6 billion for 2013-14 and ensuring that all current aid programs are fully funded. Or will they proceed with $4.5 billion of cuts over four years, including a $656 million cut this year from money already budgeted or committed (as outlined in the Coalition’s final pre-election costings document)? This would cut Australia’s overseas aid budget by 11% this year (the largest ever cut to aid) and be the first cut in aid since Prime Minister John Howard signed on to the Millennium Declaration and committed Australia to “spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty.” Obviously the first option is the only reasonable course of action for a Prime Minister who wants to be seen… read more

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  • Is aid being streamlined, sidelined or undermined?

    Posted by Ben

    19 September, 2013

    Although Prime Minister Tony Abbott promised methodical and purposeful government with no surprises, it certainly has been a surprising few weeks for Australian aid. First, Treasurer Joe Hockey announced plans to cut the aid budget in the final hours of the election campaign. And now, just as the new Government was being sworn in, the Prime Minister has revealed that AusAID will be "integrated" into the Department of Foreign Affairs of Trade. In this longish post, I just want to walk through what we know and don't know of these two decisions and the implications that are immediately obvious and those yet to be realised. I also want to make clear that while the new Government is entitled to all our respect and prayers, we will not cease from seeking to be a voice for the voiceless, and calling the Government to defend the rights of the poor and needy. We hope you will continue to raise your voice with us. Together, our voices can be powerful. 1. The Cuts We were all shocked as we learned at the last minute that the Coalition planned to fund a large… read more

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