13 September 2016

Labor has won significant amendments to the Omnibus Bill, which delivers more savings than in the Government’s legislation, protects the most vulnerable and invests in Australia’s clean energy future by saving the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA).

Today’s announcement also ensures affordable access to dental care for children by protecting Labor’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme.  

Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann said the amendments secured by Labor will deliver $6.3 billion in savings over four years, more than what the Government put forward in its original legislation.

“Labor promised the Australian people we would undertake budget repair that is fair, and we are delivering on that promise today,” Mr Neumann said.

“We will not support cutting payments for some of the most vulnerable people in Ipswich and the Somerset Region.

“Nor will we force over five million children onto long public dental waiting lists.”

Labor’s agreement with the Government will see:

  • The Government drop its ‘Baby Bonus’ payment;
  • Secure funding of $800 million for ARENA over five years;
  • Changes to the Energy Supplement measure, so that all existing categories of recipients (including those on Newstart and Pensioners), will continue to receive the modest supplement, except for people receiving Family Tax Benefit and Commonwealth Seniors Health Card Holders; 
  • The abolition of the Family Tax Benefit-A supplement for families with adjusted taxable incomes above $80,000;
  • The protection of Labor’s Child Dental Benefits Scheme by removing it from the legislation;
  • The removal of cuts that would see people with severe psychiatric conditions lose support; and
  • Labor begin discussions with the Government to accelerate Australia’s transition to a modern, clean energy renewable energy system. 

Mr Neumann said this is one step on the road to serious budget repair. 

“As the next step, the Government should support the rest of Labor’s savings package, which would deliver more than $8 billion in budget improvements over the forward estimates, and more than $80 billion in budget improvements over the medium term.

“Labor has developed a sensible and fair alternative to the Government’s superannuation package which will deliver $1.5 billion more to the budget without resorting to retrospective legislation.

“I’m calling on the Turnbull Government to drop its $50 billion ram raid on the Budget and not proceed with its big business tax cut.”

Mr Neumann said Labor’s amendments would ensure that up to two million Australians will keep the Energy Supplement.

“We fought hard to keep the Energy Supplement because we do not think that pensioners, people with disability, carers or vulnerable jobseekers should be forced to do the heavy lifting in terms of budget repair; not when the Turnbull Government is spending $50 billion on a tax cut for big business and the banks.”

For example, a single mum on Newstart would be $4.40 or $220 a year worse off.

A pensioner couple would be around $10 a week or $550 a year a year worse off. 

A person with a disability would be around $8 a week or $350 a year worse off and so too will be carers.

“This might not seem like much to Mr Turnbull but for ordinary Australians it can make a big difference,” Mr Neumann said.