May 14, 2014

Abbott’s cruel budget of broken promises

The Abbott Government’s cruel budget of broken promises will hurt struggling families, pensioners and youth in the Inner West.

Having met with a number of concerned parents and community groups since the election of the Coalition, I have heard their fears for what an Abbott Government might do to them and their families, and unfortunately their worst nightmares have been realised.

Families on Family Tax Benefit Part B will now have their payment cut completely when their youngest child turns six. Currently, eligible families continue to receive the FTB Part B until their youngest child turns 16.

This will leave single parent families on FTB Part B with a child over six $2,268 worse off each year.

These changes, in addition to the new GP Tax and new Fuel Tax, will leave a single income family with two children aged 5 and 12 years, on an income of less than $100,000 per year, worse off by almost $5000 each year.

A single parent on the Parenting Payment with children of the same age will have their budgets hit by more than $3,400 per year.

There are currently more than 5000 sole parent families in the Grayndler electorate, all of whom will be worse off under the Abbott Government.

This is all whilst saying there would be no new taxes.

The Coalition’s budget of broken promises also extends to the pension, despite Abbott saying there would be “no changes to the pension”.

Tony Abbott will slash the current fair indexation system, introduced by Labor – which makes sure the pension keeps pace with the cost of living – so the pensions are instead indexed by CPI.

The Budget will also increase the pension age to 70 by 2035. Australians will have to work longer, and their pension will be significantly reduced when they finally do get to retire.

This will be a challenging and unfair task for those in our community who do not have a desk job.

On top of this, all pensioners and state seniors card holders are set to lose valuable concessions for public transport and utilities with the abolition of the National Partnership on Certain Concessions for Pensioners Concession Card and Seniors Card Holders.  

The Inner West is also home to many young people and students, all of whom are significantly worse off under Abbott’s horror budget.

From 1 January next year, people under 30 who need Newstart and Youth Allowance will be forced to wait six months before receiving any support. This begs the question – what will they live on if they can’t find a job?

And young people under 24 will be shifted from Newstart onto the lower Youth Allowance, making them $48 a week worse off.

This is all while needing to find $7 every time anyone needs to visit the doctor.

Labor is firmly of the view that your health should not be determined by your wealth.

This is a Government that doesn’t understand what it takes for families, pensioners and young people to make ends meet.

This is a Government that is addicted to attacks on the public sector.

They don’t like the public broadcasters, so they’re attacking the ABC and SBS. They don’t like public education, so they’re abandoning the Gonski reforms. They don’t like public health, so they’re trying to end Medicare. They don’t like public transport, so they’re cutting funding around the country.

There’s a bit of a theme here- the Abbott Government just doesn’t like public.