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Lack of support for vulnerable people in Budget 2019

“The Australian Government’s 2019 Budget promises a surplus of $7.1 billion next year and to pay off all debt in a decade, at the expense of our most vulnerable people in the community,” Community Services #1 (CS#1) CEO Amanda Tobler said today.

While CS#1 welcomes some Budget measures announced last night, such as $528 million over five years to support the work of the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability, $80 million for young carer services, $460 million for youth mental health and suicide prevention and $330 million to address domestic violence, it offered very little for the three million Australians living in poverty.

“The Government plans to reach surplus by delivering a Budget that focuses on tax cuts for high income earners, while those living in poverty will receive very little or nothing,” Ms Tobler said.

The Budget 2019 offers the following:
• Those on $200,000 will get over $224 a week
• Those on $50,000 will get $23 a week
• Those on $25,000 (on pensions) get a one-off payment of $75 (equivalent to $1.40pw)
• Those on $15,000 (on Newstart) get nothing.

Last night’s Budget did not offer an increase to the Newstart payment or those on minimum wages, despite consistent appeals from the community, economists, business and the union movement.

The Budget also provided no measures to respond to our housing affordability crisis, delays and underspending on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and billions that need to be spent on mental and dental health.

“The Budget will deliver tax cuts by taking away from those who need it most, by redesigning the way welfare recipients report their income, proposed to save the Government over $2.1 billion over five years, and by redirecting $1.6 billion the NDIS did not spend last year towards meeting the Government’s bottom line.

“We urge Parliament to block these tax cuts before the Federal Election, to ensure people who are suffering from the high cost of living and lack of a living wage are finally helped,” Ms Tobler said.

CS#1 is a community based non-government organisation that has been serving the Canberra community for over 35 years. It manages and delivers a range of community services including community development, family support services, children’s services and aged care programs.

Media enquiries: (02) 6126 4700

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