February 13, 2018

SUBJECT/S:  The National Apology to the Stolen Generations.

JENNY MACKLIN, SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND SOCIAL SERVICES: This Budget, this latest Budget, from Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison is a cruel hoax on older Australians.

They promised that they would be there for baby boomers in this Budget. This is the exact opposite.

Let’s look at the detail of what’s in this Budget. This Budget contains a cut to the pension. This Government wants to abolish the Energy Supplement which will hurt around two million Australians including hundreds of thousands of pensioners.

Pensioners will be worse off by up to $14 a fortnight as a result of this cut to the Energy Supplement. This is a straight cut to the pension. It’s also a cut to Newstart. So people on the lowest incomes in Australia will suffer as a result of this Government’s Budget.

This Government is also trying to deliver the oldest aged pension age in the developed world. We know that this Government for years has been wanting to increase the aged pension age to 70 –  they still do. This Government wants to increase the aged pension age to 70. They don’t want to talk about it, but that’s exactly what they have planned for those people who were born after 1958. If you were born after 1958, you will have to work longer under this Government.

The other reason that this Budget is a cruel hoax on older Australians is what this Government is doing to aged care. We know that there are around 100,000 people waiting for home care packages so that they can get the care that they need to stay at home as they age.

This Government is providing only 14,000 extra home care packages over four years, over four years. It won’t go anywhere near meeting the needs of older Australians and the Government is taking the money for these home care packages out of the aged care budget. So they’re not putting anything extra in, they’re just cutting the aged care budget, moving the money around and not providing anywhere near enough home care packages to meet the needs of older Australians.

Now, all this is happening at the same time that the Government is wanting to deliver a massive tax cut to the top end of town. So Mr Turnbull is saying to pensioners: I’m going to cut your pension by $14 a fortnight at the same time that I deliver a massive tax cut to the top end of town. $80 billion dollars is what Malcolm Turnbull wants to deliver to the top end of town, including to the big banks, while he cuts the pension.

Now just while I’m here I want to also make mention of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is fully funded in the Budget and that is a very, very good thing. What’s outrageous is the way in which this Government, in last year’s Budget, and the Budgets before that, the way this Government has used people with disability as a political football. Last year they tried to blame the funding of the National Disability Insurance Scheme on the need for an increase to the Medicare levy, well they dropped that. Previous years, they tried to cut the pension, they tried to cut Newstart, they tried to cut the Paid Parental Leave and all of that was blamed on the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Well it’s time this Government apologised to people with disability for using them as a political football. Our job right across the Parliament now is to make sure that we deliver a National Disability Insurance Scheme that we’ve always hoped for, that people with disability deserve. That’s what our focus should be.


Authorised by Noah Carroll ALP Canberra

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