New Year's reprieve for Bendigo and Central Victorians from Abbott's unfair budget cuts

Central Victorians will benefit from a New Year's reprieve from  some of Tony Abbott’s most unfair Budget cuts.

If Tony Abbott had his way, the following Budget measures would take effect on 1 January 2015:


·         No income support for young jobseekers for up to six months

·         Increasing the age of eligibility for Newstart and Sickness Allowances

·         Axing the Pensioner Education Supplement

·         Axing the Education Entry Payment

·         Removing the Grandfathering of Student Start-Up Scholarships


"The Coalition Government’s 2014 Budget is a Budget that attacks the most vulnerable in our community – aged pensioners, the sick, the unemployed, families and the poor", said Ms Chesters.


“Fortunately, many of the most controversial Budget measures have yet to be legislated.


“Labor, with the support of the cross-benchers in the Senate, have so far been able to stop many of these savage cuts from hitting Australians.


“Given recent comments made by the new Minister for Social Services, Scott Morrison, these cruel cuts and unfair policy measures will continue to be at top of the Abbott Government's 2015 to-do list.


Ms Chesters said that the Abbott Government still wants to punish young jobseekers by denying them Newstart allowance for six months.


“They still want to shift young people under 24 from Newstart onto the lower Youth Allowance which would leave them $48 a week worse off.


“They also want to axe the Pensioner Education Supplement, which will leave pensioners $62 a fortnight worse off while they undertake study.


“They also want to axe the Education Entry Payment which will leave those currently eligible $208 a year worse off.


“These cruel cuts are not supported by most Central Victorians, many of whom have signed petitions, written letters and attended rallies to oppose these unfair changes.


“It’s clear that people in central Victoria do not agree with Tony Abbott’s blueprint for Australia.


“Central Victorians need to get ready to say "no" again, as it's clear the Abbott Government is not listening.


“I, like the rest of my Labor colleagues will continue to defend the most vulnerable members of our society by blocking these unfair changes in Parliament during 2015.”