Richmond Labor MP Justine Elliot has called on the coalition government to abandon ‘savage and cruel cuts’ imposed in last year’s federal budget following the government’s claims that tonight’s announcement will be ‘dull’ and ‘routine’.
A number of measures from last year’s controversial budget remain unimplemented after the government failed to get the numbers in the Senate to pass its bills.
The government claims tonight’s budget will be fairer, with ‘leaked’ proposals including placing the GST on internet downloads and means-testing pension payments.
The government also said it will extend family payment benefits on low- and middle-income earners to encourage more workforce participation.
But Mrs Elliot says that people on low incomes, already hit in last year’s budget should be spared from further cutbacks.
‘In this year’s federal budget I hope that Tony Abbott abandons his ongoing savage and cruel cuts from last year’s budget,’ she told Echonetdaily.
‘The Liberal-Nationals’ attack on health, education, age pensioners, families and veterans are brutally unfair. Tony Abbott and the Liberal National Party lied and broke their election commitments – and their dishonesty and incompetence continues to hurt local families,’ she added.
‘In terms of the government’s proposed childcare changes, I have concerns that many families on the north coast will be severely impacted. I’m worried that there may be many families locked out of childcare as a result of the changes.
‘Many children may miss out on early learning opportunities because of a crackdown on the number of hours parents have to work to qualify for payments.
‘With our very high unemployment rates on the north coast this means that many families may be locked out of accessing childcare and this will make it even more difficult for them to actually look for work,’ Mrs Elliot said.
She added that she did not support proposed cuts to Family Tax Benefit B, which is part of the childcare package, labelling them ‘unfair’ and saying they would ‘hurt families in our region’.
‘For example a single-income family on around $65,000 a year, with a couple of children at school, will lose up to $6,000 a year. It’s shameful that the National Party actually voted for these cuts when they went through the House of Representatives last year,’ Mrs Elliot said.
She added ‘the people of the north coast will punish the National Party for these cruel and unfair cuts’.