April 21, 2015

The latest CEDA report into poverty provides yet more evidence the Abbott Government should drop its unfair Budget cuts and stop attacking vulnerable Australians.


Disgracefully, at a time when more than a million Australians are living in poverty, the Abbott Government is focussing its unfair cuts on the poorest and most vulnerable in our community.


Tony Abbott wants to cut family payments by $5.5 billion, pensions by $23 billion and force young jobseekers to go without any support at all for six months.


Ripping support away from poor people is bad social policy and bad economic policy.


Tony Abbott still wants to kick young people under 30 off any income support for six months at a time.


How does Tony Abbott expect young people to find work if they have nothing to live off?


Mr Abbott is prepared to force young Australians into a vicious cycle of poverty. It is the cruellest of all the unfair cuts in Tony Abbott’s budget and it must not become law.


As a result of the Mr Abbott’s cuts pensioners will be up to $80 per week worse off per week within a decade and a single income family on $65,000 a year will be around $6,000 a year worse off.


This is an appalling attack on the living standards of Australians.


Importantly, the CEDA report shows that the contribution to welfare payments as a share of GDP in Australia is “relatively low compared with other OECD countries”.


The report also shows that the distribution of social security payments in Australia has been well targeted with around 42 per cent of benefits going to the lowest 20 per cent of households – compared with the OECD average of around 20 per cent.


The Abbott Government should drop its shameful attacks on the poorest Australians.


Labor calls on the Abbott Government to take action on poverty and drop its unfair Budget cuts immediately.