17 October 2016

The latest ACOSS Poverty Report is a wakeup call about the levels of poverty and inequality in Australia.

It is unacceptable that there are 700,000 Australian children living in poverty, particularly after 25 years of uninterrupted economic growth.

In the face of these alarming figures it is incumbent on our Governments to show leadership on tackling poverty and inequality. 

Federally, Mr Turnbull wants to make cruel Budget cuts that will hurt vulnerable Australians even more. 

Mr Turnbull is still trying to legislate a number of cruel cuts that will make life even harder for low income families and individuals living in Ipswich and the Somerset Region. These include:

  • Cuts to Family Payments – cuts that will see a single parent family with income of around $45,000 and two children in high school around $3,000 worse off.
  • Cuts to Paid Parental Leave to 80,000 new parents;
  • One month wait for income support – a cut that will leave young jobseekers with nothing to live on for a month.
  • Cuts to young people between the ages of 22 and 24 by pushing them on the lower Youth Allowance – a cut of around $48 a week or almost $2,500 a year.
  • Increasing the pension age to 70 – meaning Australia will have the oldest pension age in the developed world.

Mr Turnbull must drop his unfair cuts to family payments, his cuts to paid parental leave and his harsh cuts to young jobseekers that will leave them with nothing to live on for a month.

I believe it is possible to reduce inequality in Australia. It is possible to help people out of poverty, but it requires more than endless repetition of slogans like ‘jobs and growth’.

It requires a focus on inclusive growth, one that invests in the capabilities of all Australians.