Monday, 8 August 2016

Gov uses carbon tax axing to cut welfare payments

Perhaps the most obscene spectacle of the last parliament, the Lieberals celebrate repealing the carbon tax
Ah yes, my how things have changed. I was saying to people long before the Abbott gov was elected that if they were going to remove the carbon tax then they'd also have to remove the compensation payments for it too. These came in the form of tax cuts for workers and extra money for those on welfare. However Abbott decided he would tell everyone we'd all get to keep the compensation despite the carbon tax removal. A short term political fix that was impractical in the long term.

Now we see the Turnbull gov starting to claw that compensation back. Didn't tell you that with the "axe the tax" did they. Thing is, they're leaving the tax cuts for working people to keep, and guess who is going to cop it? Yep, the poorest Australians struggling to survive on welfare. For all those new ones going on Newstart, DSP, or any other sort of welfare payments they'll not be getting the carbon tax compensation any more as Abbott promised they would. It will put the dole to the lowest level below the poverty line ever.

So how's this going to get through the new senate then eh?
"Unbelievably, the government plans to actually cut unemployment benefits as one of the first acts of the new Parliament with the removal of the clean energy supplement for all new welfare beneficiaries," said Ben Oquist, executive director of The Australia Institute. 

"Despite years of work and reports arguing for the need to increase the dole - including from employer groups such as the Business Council of Australia - the government is going to cut it by $8.80 per fortnight for singles and $7.90 each for couples, sending their income to an historic 32 per cent below the Henderson poverty line." 

From September, the supplement would no longer be available to persons going on to pensions, unemployment benefits, student payments, as well as new disability support recipients and their carers. 

Mr Oquist said the study showed the actual income of the lowest paid had gone backwards over the last two decades from rough parity with the Henderson poverty line at the turn of the century, to be well below that now, and falling. 

"At the time of the Sydney Olympics, a couple on unemployment benefits had enough income to put them on the poverty line. They are now 30 per cent below it." 

The cut is scheduled to apply from September, subject to its passage in Parliament. Announced in the May 3 budget, it represents a technical breach of promise after the Abbott-led coalition went to the 2013 election promising to abolish the carbon tax while keeping the compensation. Sydney Morning Herald