Continued opposition to the Federal Budget

CEO Social Justice Blog

Opposition to the recent federal budget continues and this is encouraging for those of us involved in support services to people on low income.

Over the past couple of decades we have grown accustomed to the widening gap between rich and poor as the rich become richer and the poor get left behind. However this is the first budget I can remember which will increase hardship for people on low incomes.

There seems to be a perverse view out there that the affluent need more wealth to encourage them to keep going whilst people on low income might need to try harder. We do not support this view.

Take for example carers.

There are almost 350,000 carers in NSW and 40% are on low incomes. They have given up career hopes to care for a family member with a disability, chronic illness, mental health issues etc. and many receive their income from government benefits.

Proposed changes to indexation will slow the growth rate of the pension and in 10 years time for example they will be $80 per week worse off. The person they care for is likely to be worse off too.

The posed $7 GP co-payment will be a blow too as this group spend more on doctors and medical supplies already. The scrapping of the Pensioner Education Supplement is also disappointing as carers can sometimes undertake study whist being a full time carer.

Carers don’t complain but we should. Our carers DO NOT need to try harder.