Around half of Australians (47%) say that the government should spend less on foreign aid. However, Australians have very inflated perceptions of the size of Australia’s aid budget. In a question first presented in 2011, we asked Australians this year what percentage of the Australian federal budget they think is ‘actually spent on foreign aid’, and what percentage they think ‘should be spent on foreign aid’. In 2018, Australia’s aid budget is $3.9 billion, which is approximately 0.8% of the federal budget. However, this year’s Poll finds that on average, Australians think that 14% of the budget is actually spent on aid, while they think 10% of the budget should be spent on aid. More than one in five (21%) say that 20% or more of the budget is directed to aid. Very few Australians estimate the amount of the aid budget correctly, with only 6% saying that less than 1% of the Australian federal budget is actually spent on aid.
7 questions match this theme
Thinking now about the aid the Australian government provides to developing countries. Currently the government provides approximately five billion dollars in aid to developing countries, or around 1.2 per cent of the budget. Do you think this is too high, too low or about right?