NEWS

BUD­GET BELTS THE RE­GION

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - FRONT PAGE - Danielle Jarvis

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.”

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