Scott Morrison unwinds decision to cut Foodbank funding after backlash

Scott Morrison unwinds decision to cut Foodbank funding after backlash
Prime Minister, Scott Morrison. Photo by DFAT / Timothy Tobing via Wikimedia Commons

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has back-flipped on a decision to cut funding from Foodbank, a major hunger-relief organisation in Australia.

The Government announced a plan to cut Foodbank’s federal funding and instead have the money split between SecondBite and OzHarvest. This would mean the funding would be split across three organisations rather than two.

The Labor party and the National Farmers’ Federation as well as several parts of the charity sector criticised the Government’s plan. This backlash prompted Scott Morrison to issue a response on Twitter saying that the decision has been reversed and that the budget for food relief would be raised “by 1.5 million over the next 4.5 years” as well as asking for more focus to be placed on areas affected by drought.

Brianna Casey, the chief executive of Foodbank was pleased with the Government’s reversal of the funding cut decision and said it was a “massive relief”.

Foodbank is the largest hunger-relief organisation in Australia and provides around 67 million meals every year.

Ms Casey said that the Government’s plan to redistribute funding was “not the right sort of response” and that a competitive tender process wasn’t appropriate for matters that needed to ensure hungry people were fed.

In a second tweet, Mr Morrison said the reversal of the decision was going to maintain Foodbank’s funding at $750,000 per year.

In his own tweet, Labor leader Bill Shorten said that the reversal was a good result “for people power and common sense”.