Essential Report

Attitudes towards the amount Australia spends on foreign aid

Dec 1, 2020

Q. Do you think Australia spends too much or too little on foreign aid?

  Nov’20 Jun’17 Jun’15 Jul’11
 
Spends too much 37% 41% 44% 42%
Spends too little 16% 16% 16% 16%
Spends about the right amount 23% 19% 21% 21%
Don’t know 24% 24% 19% 21%
  • Over a third (37%) of people think Australia spends too much on foreign aid. This is lower than previous years (41% in 2017 and 44% in 2015). 16% think too little is spent and 23% think about the right amount is spent. 24% aren’t sure.
  Total Gender Age Group Federal Voting Intention
  Male Female 18-34 35-54 55+ Labor TOTAL: Coalition Greens TOTAL: Other
Spends too much 37% 37% 37% 27% 42% 39% 30% 43% 17% 52%
Spends too little 16% 20% 13% 24% 14% 13% 22% 11% 29% 15%
Spends about the right amount 23% 27% 18% 23% 19% 26% 23% 27% 27% 15%
Don’t know 24% 16% 32% 26% 25% 22% 25% 19% 26% 18%
Base (n) 1,034 528 506 329 320 385 322 430 88 107
  • Those voting for minor parties are the most likely to think too much is being spent on foreign aid (52%), followed by Coalition voters (43%).
  • Conversely, Greens voters are the most likely to think too little is being spent (29%).
  Total        
  Less than 1% 1% to 5% Over 5% Don’t know
Spends too much 37% 23% 31% 68% 31%
Spends too little 16% 48% 28% 5% 5%
Spends about the right amount 23% 25% 33% 21% 14%
Don’t know 24% 4% 9% 6% 50%
Base (n) 1,034 70 408 169 387
  • Of those who incorrectly think over 5% of government expenditure is spent on foreign aid, 68% think too much is spent.
  • Of those who correctly know that less than 1% is being spent on foreign aid, about half (48%) think too little is spent. A quarter (25%) think the right amount is spent and 4% don’t know. 23% still think too much is spent on foreign aid.

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