The Australian Council of Social Service today welcomed the Australian Senate’s rejection of radical social security budget measures that would cut the incomes of people living in poverty and its support of better targeting of payments to those who need them.
“We applaud the good sense of Senators who have listened to the many community voices raised against harsh budget cuts affecting people already living in poverty including young people, sole parents and pensioners. These measures deprive the very people that our safety net system is meant to protect,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.
“ACOSS has consistently argued that social security should be there for those who need it, when they need it, and that payments should not extend to people who don’t need them.
“We welcome indications that the Senate is prepared to support the removal of poorly targeted payments such as the Seniors Supplement for older people with over a million dollars in assets apart from their home, and the extension of Family Tax Benefit part B to families earning over $100,000. These budget measures go a long way to achieving the savings that are needed to restore the budget to surplus and meet the challenge of an ageing population.
“The government should continue down this sensible ‘middle road’ to budget reform and withdraw proposals that would have the greatest impact on people living in poverty and those in poor health.
“To bring equity and balance to budgetary reform, the Government should devote as much effort to restoring revenues as to reducing spending. The Government’s tax reform agenda should sweep away tax shelters that disproportionately benefit people on high incomes, remove inequity and waste in tax breaks for superannuation, and curb tax avoidance by multinational companies.” Dr Goldie said.
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