Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s Intergenerational Report has undermined the entire basis for Tony Abbott’s savage attack on vulnerable Australians.
His unfair budget cuts were completely unjustified. The Report shows that total government payments to individuals are already falling under current policy settings.
Government spending on Newstart, Family Payments and the Disability Support Pension are already projected to fall over time as a percentage of GDP from 4.5 per cent now to 3.4 per cent in 2055.
There is absolutely no justification for leaving jobseekers with nothing to live on for six months.
Or hitting low and middle income families with $5.5 billion in cuts to family payments.
Or savagely attacking people on the Disability Support Pension and the Carer Payment.
The Report reinforces figures from the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) that Australia spends comparatively less on welfare than other developed nations.
Expenditure on welfare in Australia accounted for just 8.6 per cent of GDP in 2013, compared to the OECD average of 13 per cent.
And Australians’ dependence on welfare is declining.
Last year, research by the Melbourne Institute of Applied Economic found that the proportion of working-age people in households that received income support payments declined from 41.3 per cent in 2000–01 to 34.7 per cent in 2010–11.
The evidence shows that Australia has one of the most targeted and sustainable welfare systems in the world. We should be proud of it and seek to improve, not rip it apart.
Tony Abbott’s unfair cuts in last year’s Budget are an ideological attack on vulnerable Australians.
Labor will continue to fight against the Abbott Government’s unfair cuts.
THURSDAY, 5 MARCH 2015