Independent economic modelling by NATSEM has revealed the true cost to families of this year’s Federal Budget, and once again it is families on the lowest income who will be hardest hit.
“What Tony Abbott didn't tell you on Budget night is that thousands of families in Bendigo and Central Victoria families will be caught up in the latest round of their cruel cuts,” said Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters.
“It's estimated that nine out of 10 low income families will be worse off while in true Liberal fashion, nine out of 10 of the wealthiest families will benefit. Yet again it’s those who can least afford it who are being hurt the most.
“Here in the Bendigo electorate we have a higher-than-average proportion of low income families.
“Close to 10,000 families in the Bendigo electorate will be thousands of dollars worse off if harsh budget measures, including stripping $5.5 billion from family tax benefits, are passed by the Parliament.
Guildford family of four, Chris and Seamus and their children, Hector and Athena, will be thousands of dollars worse off if Tony Abbott’s cuts go through. Seamus works part-time and volunteers for the CFA while Chris runs a family daycare.
“We currently manage on a very modest income so it’s hard to see how we could cope if we were to lose several thousand dollars from our family budget each year. We already grow a lot of our own veggies, buy second-hand and if we do go away as a family, it’s usually bush camping or a trip to the grandparents. I suppose it would mean giving up ‘luxuries’ like swimming lessons,” said Chris.
Sharon lives with her daughter in Castlemaine, works part-time and already struggles to make ends meet:
“The cost of everything is going up all time. I already cannot afford my weekly expenses, my credit card is almost always at its maximum. I live from day-to-day in extreme stress. My daughter doesn’t do any extra activities outside school. She worries we may lose our home and she will have to give up her pets. The cuts to FTB Part B mean I will lose $50 a week and that frightens me. I’m not sure how I’ll continue to manage financially.”
“This is not a budget for families. This analysis shows that families will be slugged thousands of dollars even when the Government’s new child care measures – which start in 2017 - are factored in,” said Ms Chesters.
“This government has unfairness at its core. The only way to get rid of these unfair Budgets is to get rid of this Abbott Liberal Government,” said Ms Chesters.
This analysis follows research released by the Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) at the weekend which found this year’s Budget is just as unfair as last year’s, with families set to lose $15 billion over the next four years.