Tony Abbott’s cruel budget won’t be tolerated

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The Australian Greens say today's March in May #bustthebudget rally will send a clear message to the Abbott Government that their cruel budget will not be accepted by the Australian community.

"Tony Abbott is intent on taking opportunities away from West Australian students, job seekers, young people, people with disability and single parents," Senator Rachel Siewert, Australian Greens spokesperson on family and community services said today.

"The Government is snatching education and employment opportunities away from people who need it the most, and young people across WA are particularly vulnerable.

"Budget cuts could begin to affect people as soon as July, so today's rally is very important for letting Tony Abbott know his cruel approach won't be tolerated.

"New jobseekers aged 18 to 30 will be forced to survive for up to six months with no income support. During this time, they will be exposed to poverty, which is another barrier to work and they'll then be forced to live for six months on work for the dole and for the other six months of the year they'll go back to receiving nothing.

"What does the government expect people to do when they get sick and need to see a doctor? How will they afford food and rent? When you've got no money, even decent clothes for a job interview are out of reach.

"Single parents are also being punished in the budget, with changes to indexation, the pensioner education supplement and family tax benefits taking money out of their pockets and making it harder for them to raise a family while they study, work or look for a job.

"For university students, government changes to fees will see them skyrocket under deregulation. Students will pay an extra $3.2 billion for university in the form of a lower HECS repayment threshold and the charging of real interest rates of up to 6% on their debt.

"During the last week I've had conversations, phone calls and emails from young people, pensioners, people with disability and parents who are very concerned about the impact of the Government's plans. Tony Abbott has no idea how hard it is for people who are studying or living on income support while they look for work.

"The community campaign against this needlessly harsh budget will continue to grow. The Greens' message today is that we will never support measures that drive disadvantaged people further into poverty," Senator Siewert concluded.