Tim Costello expresses preference for Labor

Australian Christians are being urged to vote Labor by the brother of the future leader of the Liberal party – Tim Costello.

The World Vision chief told the Nine Network that Opposition leader and Prime Minister hopeful Kevin Rudd is “way ahead” of John Howard on the issue of foreign aid.

However, he denies he is campaigning on behalf of the Opposition, AAP reported.

"We will be telling all the churches that Kevin Rudd is way ahead of the prime minister on this issue," the Baptist Minister told the Nine Network.

"For Christians, that means this will be potentially a vote-clincher, maybe a deal-breaker in terms of how they see this election,” he said.

In July, Labor launched its plan to raise foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of gross domestic product by 2015/16, up from 0.35 in 2010/011.

According to World Vision, the extra money could help save the lives of up 140,000 children living in poverty in the region.

The coalition refuses to match the Labor pledge.

Mr Costello, a major player in the Make Poverty History campaign, pleaded with his brother and Prime Minister John Howard to reconsider their commitment to foreign aid.

"Peter, John Howard, please, this is a moral issue - make it bipartisan," Mr Costello said.

Labor's foreign aid spokesman Bob McMullan urged the coalition to put politics aside and match its commitment to increase foreign aid.

He agrees the policy will be important to many Australians.

SOURCE
Tim Costello enters election fray on aid (Sydney Morning Herald, 1/11/07)

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