Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Government tries to slash incomes of poorest - again
The Australian Council of Social Service urges the Parliament to again stand up against the latest attempt by the Turnbull Government to cut the incomes of people who have the very least in the country.
ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie said, "The proposal to cut the Energy Supplement will directly hit people already living in poverty by slashing between $4 to $7 per week from people trying to survive on social security payments, including the $38-per-day Newstart Allowance.

"Pensioners, carers, people with disability, people who are unemployed, and single parents all stand to have their social security base income cut if the bill to slash the Energy Supplement is passed.
"Poverty and inequality would worsen and our unemployment payment, which is more than $100 per week below the poverty line, would be cut by $4.40 per week. Pensions would be cut by $7 per week.

"Cutting payments to people who are locked out of paid work will not help them find a job. Instead, it will make it tougher as they will struggle even more to put a roof over their head and put food on the table. For many people, $7 pays for a family meal, an outfit for kids or travel to look for work. 
"Despite being an essential service, in less than a decade electricity prices have skyrocketed by more than 80%, disconnections have increased by 47%, the number of households on hardship measures has risen, and more households are rationing energy to the detriment of their health and well-being.
"Low-income households also continue to suffer housing stress with 800,000 low-income households paying more than 30% of their income in rent and more than 100,000 people are homeless.
"We commend the Nick Xenophon Team, Labor, the Greens, Senator Lambie and Senator Hinch, for previously rejecting this and other cruel measures. We urge them to stay firm.
"The community sector is united in its opposition to it. The government should focus on improving the adequacy of our unemployment payments rather than throwing their recipients into further destitution.
"Newstart is unbearably low. Business, unions and the community sector all agree that the level of the unemployment needs to be increased. It is extraordinary that the Turnbull Government persists in trying find budget savings by cutting income support to this group even further.
"This Bill has been repeatedly rejected by Parliament. It is a 'zombie' that needs to be buried with the rest. It is cruel to keep this threat over the lives of people affected.
"We call on the Parliament to protect the incomes of up to two million people receiving income support and again reject this bill," Dr Goldie said.
Contact:  Australian Council of Social Service, 0419 626 155

Sunday, 28 May 2017

During Senate Estimates this week it was revealed that the Coalition Government is continuing with its plans to attack the pension. Finance Minister, Mathias Cormann, admitted on Wednesday that increasing the age pension to 70 years of age remains Coalition Government policy.
This would mean that all Australians, whether they work in an office or in manual work, would be required to keep going until they’re 70, and it’s yet another example of how out of touch this Government is with ordinary Australians. The Older Women's Network Australia Inc will fight this unfair plan.
They found that some women will be hit with an effective marginal tax rate of 100%. In Senate Estimates this week the Minister for Women, Michaelia Cash, and the Office of Women revealed that they have not requested any modelling from Treasury on the ways in which women will be affected by changing marginal tax rates. Senator Cash, as the person coordinating women’s policy, has every opportunity to address issues affecting women in the budget. She has the information and analysis that could have informed the budget, yet at Estimates she did not seem to know anything about the effect of the budget on women. This should be a key priority for the Minister for Women.