March 11, 2018

Malcolm Turnbull must come out today to confirm reports that he’s given up on cutting the Energy Supplement for pensioners, carers, people with disability and the unemployed.

If Turnbull and his Liberals had their way, the Energy Supplement would be cut for 2 million Australians.

Axing the Energy Supplement for new pensioners would mean a cut of $14.10 per fortnight for single pensioners or $365 a year.

Couple pensioners would be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.

The Energy Supplement has left a $1 billion hole in the Liberals’ Budget, which they’ve booked completely despite missing the start date and not implementing a new one.

Labor calls on the Liberals to drop their Energy Supplement cut.

While they’re at it they can drop billions of dollars in other cuts which are propping up their Budget but won’t pass the Parliament.

They include cuts to Family Tax Benefits, increasing the maximum liquid assets waiting period, cutting the pension supplement for people overseas, changes to the pension residency requirement and cuts to the Pensioner Education Supplement and Education Entry Payment.

The Liberals haven’t even tried to legislate increasing the pension age to 70, despite booking a $3.6 billion save to the Budget bottom line.  

As long as all of their fake savings are in there, the Liberals’ dodgy Budget isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

Even if they managed to get some of the measures past the crossbench, their Budget would still be littered with holes. 

It’s time Malcolm Turnbull, Scott Morrison and Mathias Cormann fessed up to the Australian people and stopped treating them like fools.

Under the Liberals, we’ve seen higher deficits, growing and record debt, stagnant wages and reduced living standards for people who work and struggle.

They should drop their unfair cuts and adopt Labor’s structural reforms, which will deliver Budget repair that’s fair.