According to lobby group Taxpayers Australia, under the Commission of Audit’s plans, Australians will pay more for health and education and receive lower benefits for unemployment, pensions, family, childcare and parental leave under a radical strategy that will also see a shrinking of the role of the federal government in favour of states’ power. Recommendations include adding the value of the family home to the means test for the Aged Pension, making young unemployed people to move to find a job after one year on Newstart or risk having it denied them, and reducing payments to stay-at-home spouses. It also advocates $15 co-payments for visits to the doctor and additional co-payments for medicines, a means test for receiving the full childcare rebate and more cuts to the recently pared-back paid parental leave scheme. Taxpayers Australia spokesperson Mark Chapman said, ‘It’s now clear why Tony Abbott decided to get a pre-emptive strike in with his debt tax.
‘Virtually all of the recommendations in this report are targeted at those on low and middle incomes, the sick and the vulnerable. ‘There’s virtually nothing here to target the wealthy and the advantaged.
‘The debt tax now gives the government cover to argue that the wealthy will be doing some of the heavy lifting.
‘But that’s a temporary tax, these are cuts which will stretch down the years well into the future. ’Back when this Commission was announced, there were suspicions that the government had already fixed the outcome.
‘Why effectively subcontract the job to the Business Council of Australia otherwise?’