February 25, 2015

SUBJECT/S: Scott Morrison must guarantee that vulnerable Australians will not be left worse off as a result of the McClure Report; Government must get rid of its cuts to family payments, pension indexation and young jobseekers.


JENNY MACKLIN (SHADOW MINISTER FOR FAMILIES AND PAYMENTS): The Government has just received the McClure Review into Australia’s welfare system and Scott Morrison, the Minister, is at the National Press Club today. I say to Scott Morrison today he needs to guarantee to vulnerable Australians that there will be no cuts to their income support. No cuts to pensions, no cuts to benefits that would see these vulnerable Australians worse off.


The problem for the Government is that they have a number of very significant cuts already in the Parliament. So today I’m calling on the Government to get rid of the cuts to pension indexation, to remove the cuts to family payments and to also get rid of the cuts that would see young people under the age of 30 left with nothing to live on for six months. So the Government needs to first of all guarantee that nobody will be left worse off as a result of this welfare review and they need to reverse the cuts that would hurt so many Australians if they were successful in getting these through the Parliament.


JOURNALIST: Have you had a look at Mr McClure’s report and what do you make of some of the recommendations first up?


JENNY MACKLIN: Well I’m very concerned that this is a blueprint for a Government that will seek to cut payments to the most vulnerable Australians – that’s my number one concern. It’s already very hard to live on unemployment benefits or pensions and what we don’t want to see is these vulnerable Australians facing even more cuts from the Abbott Government. 


JOURNALIST: Do you concede that there needs to be some streamlining of payments? Are there currently too many tiers as it is?


JENNY MACKLIN: Well, we of course support any simplification that makes sense, but what we don’t want to do is have simplification at the expense of vulnerable people being left worse off. So sure simplify the system if we can but make sure that those people who rely on pensions and benefits in Australia are not left worse off.