Families and the young unemployed to be hit by new bill

Contributed from New South Wales

The Turnbull government has made clear its intention to slash provision for unemployment benefits (Newstart) and childcare by $8 billion.

A bill is to be introduced in parliament that,

  • increases the age of eligibility for unemployment benefits from 22 to 25. Young job seekers will receive a Youth Allowance of $428 a fortnight, which is $45 less than now.
  • forces job seekers under 25 will have to wait four weeks before accessing income support.
  • abolishes the Energy Supplement, worth up to $14 a fortnight, for new welfare recipients.
  • caps Government-funded and employer-paid parental leave  at 20 weeks a year.
  • stops Pension payments to Australians who travel for more than six weeks overseas.

On the childcare side, the bill will abolish the family tax benefit supplements worth up to $726 a year per child, which far exceeds the $20 per child fortnight tax benefit concession and amounts to a cut of $1.3 billion.

The bill has been branded as anti-family by welfare groups.

The prime minister is calling this, a “very big social reform,” which “…will make childcare more affordable and more available, especially for families on lower incomes…”.  Critics don’t see it.

There are signs that Xenophon, whose party’s votes will be crucial in the Senate, is moving towards supporting the bill.  Pauline Hanson is also likely to support it, although she argues that it still does not do enough to cut the social government’s welfare expenditure.

With Xenophon and Hanson support the bill is likely to get through the Senate and add to the ongoing cuts to welfare recipients, already suffering from fall in the real value of benefits that have not kept up with the increased cost of living over the years.

By attacking those least able to defend themselves, the government provides itself with a soft target, to implement its fiction that the government needs to tackle the so-called deficit crisis.

No matter how much the government cuts in the provision of services to the average Australian, overall government expenditure does not go down.  It is not about cutting expenditure. This is about where the expenditure is going. There is no problem lifting politician’s benefits, or lifting corporate welfare.

Perhaps there needs to be another set of priorities.

 

1 Comment on "Families and the young unemployed to be hit by new bill"

  1. I don’t have too much problem with the cuts to payments to people who are overseas.
    The rest of the omnibus is just screwed.
    Poorleen is dumb enough, and self centered enough to vote for it because she will get her ugly face into the papers. I thought Nick Xenophon had enough brains to see through the bullshit.
    We are getting all of these bloody cuts to payments, services, kids having to wait for payments, blah blah blah, on the basis that when (read IF) someone gets a job there is childcare relief to assist, and the one thing that trumbles made absolutely NO mention of was what WE, ”the great hairy unemployed” who are costing this great country so damn much, are going to be able to do for a living.
    No talk of microloans through Centerlink to set up our own small local economies utilising our unemployed skills to help one another get going again.
    No talk of doing anything to make 457’s less attractive as cheap labour and only suitable as essential services which is what they are supposed to be.
    No mention of enabling welfare renters to get into home ownership so that they have their own roof over their heads.
    Nothing about apprentices and re-skilling Australia. According to the education minister our kids aren’t smart enough because our teachers aren’t good enough so we had better import some more of them. He obviously doesn’t see the same language difficulty that I saw/experienced at high school with my Scottish maths teacher as being any sort of problem. Hmmm.
    And then to top yesterday off we had trumbles being held up on a platter as being finally up to the job of pm. For doing what? Pointing out that the dealer of the opposition wanted to be pm one day too? Goddam. Name one politician in Canberra who deep down doesn’t.
    Jeezus talcum. You have sat there and taken it time and time again when things have mattered to ALL Australians, and you finally get the nerve up to have a go at shortarse for calling you mr harbourside once too often, and we are supposed to think you are worth voting for. Try again.
    Or better still, piss off to the caymans, and leave Australia in the care of someone with a clue and the willingness to swing a stick at the people who are ripping us off. Make the multinationals pay SOME tax for a start. Pull your head out of your arse over coal for seconds. Have a real look at how to get some proper cash flowing through the economy, and then you might stand a chance. Put the 2 party preferred bullshit aside, and pick a Cabinet of and from the BEST people available. Dreyfus should be the AG, as an example. There are a dozen others.
    We the Voter are just tired of the crap.
    The Revolution is coming.
    Bring on Rule 303.

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