14 February, 2017

The St Vincent de Paul Society has joined other major community sector organisations representing people on low incomes to welcome the Parliament’s rejection of cutting $5.5 billion from social security to fund child care and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS); and to congratulate Labor, the Greens, the Nick Xenophon Team and Jacqui Lambie for continuing their opposition to these unfair cuts. 

The Omnibus Bill would slash the incomes of more than two million people. We need a properly funded NDIS, but this must not be at the expense of the incomes of the poorest people in our country. 

The Omnibus Bill would cut the $38 per day Newstart Allowance by $4 per week, despite Newstart already being well below the poverty line. A high proportion of people struggling to survive on Newstart Allowance are people with disability. If the Bill passes, Disability Support Pensioners will lose the $7 per week Energy Supplement. People with disability should not have their incomes cut to pay for essential supports and services they need to live their lives. The Bill would also deny young people income support for five weeks as they try to find work, and then cut their incomes by $47 per week.  

People with disability, sole parents and carers would also lose up to $35 per week in payments assisting them with education and training. Sole parents would lose up to $65 per week under the family payment cuts. 

It is egregious to be linking these brutal social security cuts to the funding of the NDIS when the government is trying to push through $50 billion in company tax cuts and has already passed $4 billion in personal tax cuts for people earning $80,000 and above. 

We congratulate the Parliament on continuing its firm opposition to these grossly unfair cuts, many of which have been opposed since the 2014 budget. We call on the government to reset its agenda and look at ways to reduce inequality and poverty in Australia rather than deepen the divide by cutting the incomes of the poorest. 


Organisations 

  • Anglicare Australia 
  • Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS): media contact 0419 626 155
  • Australian Youth Action Coalition (AYAC): media contact (re. youth measures): 0412 708 964
  • Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL)
  • Carers Australia
  • Children and Young People with Disability Australia (CYDA)
  • Jobs Australia
  • National Council for Single Mothers and their Children (NCSMC)
  • The National Social Security Rights Network 
  • People with Disability Australia (PWDA)
  • St Vincent de Paul Society