AUSTRALIAN FEDERAL BUDGET: A Whole Lot of Nothing for Families

Wow! What a predictable Federal Budget this one turned out to be. Although, being in an election year, the Treasurer delivered even less than expected. There weren’t even any ‘surprises’ to attract votes. With the majority of income earners receiving tax cuts of a whopping $14 per week, I was even more dismayed by the complete failure to address the needs of struggling families.

In true Liberal fashion, the rich once again get richer, and the poor poorer. According to the Budget release featured in Tuesday’s edition of The Age, double income families with or without children receive the greatest benefits (even if it is still below the $40 per week mark.) At the same time, The Age demonstrated that it’s the single mother working part-time who loses out – she receives a remarkable zero dollars extra per week.

I know this will come as a complete shock but there were no increased benefits for stay at home parents. There was no mention of paid maternity or paternity leave. There is no additional assistance for health expenses through Medicare. There is no increase in assistance for families in terms of schooling.

Let me not get too cynical here, there was one thing offered to families. Hoorah, hoorah! Parents who put their kids in care will receive payments in the same year they claim the rebate (I didn’t even know this wasn’t the case previously). And, don’t get too excited but there’s also a slight increase in the rebate, which it is predicted will offset the increased cost of childcare. Yippy!

So what do I get from all this? $14 extra per week. Hey, will cover the increase in my health insurance that came in last month. Thanks for nothing Peter Costello!

Leave a Comment