BUDGET BELTS THE REGION
A RECENT study shows no suburb in Australia will be more adversely affected by the latest Federal Budget than Mt Druitt.
The independent study by the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling at the University of Canberra found that Mt Druitt families would be $1066.10 poorer during the 2018/19 financial year as a result of the policy changes introduced in the Budget.
Darlinghurst households, meanwhile, will gain $177.90 and Paddington households will gain $172.20.
Chifley federal Labor MP Ed Husic said the study proved how “unfair and mean this government really is”.
“The new independent NATSEM evidence is proof of what we have been saying all along – that the poorest in our communities are the worst affected by the cuts of the Abbott Government, while those who least need the help are getting it the most,” Mr Husic said.
The study shows cuts to family payment FTB part B, the family payment freeze and tougher means testing arrangements, indexation freezes for a range of government benefits, pension cuts and petrol indexation all had a negative impact on Mt Druitt families, while carbon price removal and the childcare package changes had a positive impact.
Mr Husic said all the things that helped families in Mt Druitt had been cut.
“Tony Abbott’s second Budget hit our area as hard as his first Budget,” he said.
“Families – and young people in particular – are doing it tough because of Tony Abbott’s Budgets.
“Child care, pensions, health care – all the things that matter to people out here have been impacted by Tony Abbott’s government.
“If we want people to get ahead in life, we need a government willing to invest in education and training for our young.”
Liberal Senator for Western Sydney Marise Payne defended the Budget.
“Like the old NATSEM Labor modelling, it appears to fail to take into account the workforce participation benefits of moving from welfare into work,” she said.
“The modelling also appears to fail to take into account some of our key social security spending. The government is introducing the single biggest investment in support for accessing affordable child care.”
Bidwill mother Sandy Swift said she needed her $800-a-week welfare payments for power bills, food and looking after her five children: Aaron, 17, Shianne, 15, Lance, 13, and Angel, 7.
Ms Swift said she had al- ready felt the financial strain in cuts to the family payment FTB part B when the youngest child turns six – implemented in the previous Budget.
“It’s hard enough as it is,” Ms Swift said. “It’s going to be even worse. I don’t think it’s fair. Being a parent is a full-time job.
“If my children are sick, I have to take time off work. If I take too much time off, they will suspend my payments.”
Ms Swift said she went from being a full-time mum to juggling study three hours a day, five days a week and job hunting.
“I’ve been raising kids since I was 18,” she said.
“You’ve got to study to get qualifications. If you don’t have qualifications no one wants you.”