March 10, 2017

The Turnbull Government’s unfair Omnibus Bill was today slammed by the community sector, women’s groups and early childhood educators during the Senate Committee Inquiry. 

There is absolutely no support for Mr Turnbull’s unfair cuts to families, pensioners, new mums, people with disability and young jobseekers.

The Liberals harsh cuts are simply unfair and will only hurt the most vulnerable members of the community. 

For the first time, the Department of Social Services (DSS) has revealed that the number of Age Pensioners and Newstart recipients who will lose the Energy Supplement by 2020.

Around 403,000 age pensioners, 472,000 people on Newstart and around 200,000 Youth Allowance recipients will no longer have access to the Energy Supplement by 2020.

All up 1.7 million Australians will lose the Energy Supplement by 2020.

For pensioners this will be a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year. Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.

Extraordinarily DSS also admitted today that no distributional analysis has been done on the Turnbull Government’s cuts to Family Tax Benefits - cuts that will affect around 1.5 million families.

Has Christian Porter not even considered the financial situation of the families these cuts will hurt before introducing them into the Parliament?

DSS also admitted that around 587,000 families on the maximum rate of Family Tax Benefit will be worse off by at least $200 per child.

Mr Turnbull and Mr Porter should stop these harsh cuts and start listening to what Australians are saying about their unfair cuts to vulnerable Australians -

“We are very concerned that even families who would be better off under increased child care subsidies would still be worse off at the end of the day if affected by FTB cuts as well.”

-       Samantha Page, Early Childhood Australia

“Exactly the same people who will be impacted by both the cuts in penalty rates and the cuts in FTB.”

-       Katie Biddlestone, SDA

I can’t see how any government, that is concerned with child and maternal health issues… would be looking at cutting the time a parent can have with a child after giving birth.  It is an absolutely incoherent policy package. It is a random package of cuts, it is not a package that is about the well-being of mothers families and children.

-       Marie Coleman, National Foundation for Australian Women Social Policy Committee

On Turnbull Government’s plan to scrap the Energy Supplement, ACOSS warned that getting rid of the Energy Supplement would have grave consequences.

“It would remove the first real increase to the Newstart Allowance since 1994 when the payment was increased by $2.95 per week above CPI… (Newstart) is well below the poverty line, and it’s falling further and further below the poverty line because it is only indexed to CPI. So I can’t really stress enough how grave it would be to lose that payment.” 


On the proposed scrapping of the Education Entry Payment and the Pensioner Education Supplement, ACOSS revealed that:

“Around 33,000 people receiving the PES and around 83,000 receiving EdEP, where they are receiving both payments they will lose up to around $35 a week, and that is going to have a serious impact on their ability to continue to undertake education and training, which is going to inhibit their ability to access employment.”

Malcolm Turnbull must take his unfair cuts to vulnerable Australians out of the Parliament and out of the Budget, for good.