26 Jun 2018

80% of Australians do not support any further spending on foreign aid. They have no idea what percentage of the budget is spent on aid.

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80% of Australians do not support any further spending on foreign aid

This was reflected in the 2017 Lowy Institute Poll where, when the Australian respondents were told exactly how much Australia invested in aid, $3.8 billion, only 22% supported an increase.

But dollar amounts can be misleading.

Instead of asking Australians whether our current aid investment was right. Public opinions on foreign aid, are in striking contrast to reality, revealing how fraught polling of public perceptions on foreign aid can be.

Australians have a highly inflated perception of the size of our aid program. The average Australian believes we invest about 14% of the federal budget on foreign aid and that we should actually invest about 10%. In reality, we invest 0.8%.

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