Deal with crossbench tries to sneak through four week wait and other nasties


The secret deal between the Government and crossbenchers on the family tax benefit sneaks through nasty cuts to the social safety net that hurts families, young people and aged pensioners.

“Nick Xenaphon and other crossbenchers should think long and hard before getting behind the legislation”, Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert said today.

“The Government has painted this legislation as a compromise to get the childcare package through the Senate but it is just a shopping list of the nasty social safety net measures that they have not been able to get through the senate in the past. It is an attack on families, young people and the aged.

This Omnicuts bill has four week wait to access the Newstart or youth allowance if you’re a young unemployed person. The Government has been trying to keep young people off income support since Tony Abbott’s appalling 2014 budget.

“If Nick Xenaphon has negotiated this bill I have to ask if he is aware of the full impacts and hidden nasties in the complex legislation? Is he trying to keep young people off income support? Is he supporting cuts to family tax benefits particularly for low income families?

“Also tucked away in this hodgepodge legislation is the reduction of people receiving their aged pension once out of the country from 26 weeks to six weeks. More poor and unfair policy.

“On top of all this, the Government is claiming those on FTB A will get an increase to their payment, that is not true. If you would have received the full FTB A supplement, you lose out on $8 a fortnight.

“Those on FTB B may also miss out, potentially losing up to $13 a fortnight. To struggling families I would say: don’t let the Government fool you.

“The Government is unrelentingly going after young families, and those relying on our social security safety net.

“We will continue to scrutinise this legislation when it comes through the senate”.