The following my be used as direct quotes from Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS:
Having a roof over your head is one of the biggest challenges for all Tasmanians - whether you are rich or poor, earning an income or looking for a job. There is nothing in the Budget for Tasmanians for the biggest challenge we are currently facing.
The most disappointing element of this budget is ignoring the “do no harm” principle. The $7 per week energy supplement for those on Newstart should not be withdrawn for people struggling while banks get tax cuts. This is not the country we want to live in.
The budget fails to acknowledge the day to day desperation of jobseekers trying to live on Newstart. In Tasmania there are 24 applicants for every entry-level job opening.
The Treasurer said the tax cuts were ‘reward for work’. He is not acknowledging the hard work done by those on Newstart to find employment in the increasingly tight social safety net.
We don’t pay tax with the expectation it will be given back to us in tax cuts. Australians want their government to provide access to services funded through our taxes, this is our basic right.
Wage increases should not come through income tax cuts, they should come from employers recognises the hard work of Australian workers.
We know the majority of low and middle income Tasmanians would rather more services like bulk billing GPs, shorter waiting lists at our hospitals, affordable dental services and being able to pay their energy bills. They would choose this over a $10 per week tax cut.
We must care for older Australians, but we also expect our Government to have a vision for the future to ensure today’s youth are healthy, well educated and able to participate fully in the economy.
While there is 14,000 new aged care home packages, the current backlog of need is 100,000 places, this hardly even scratches at the surface of need.
We have a revenue opportunity and we have 29,000 Tasmanian children live below the poverty line. We don’t understand why these children are not a priority for the Federal Government. This is clearly not a poverty for the Federal Government.