Australian Greens Senator for Western Australia Rachel Siewert today expressed deep concern that the Federal budget leaves many people behind and does not develop the new green economy.
"While the increase of $32.49 per week for single aged pensioners is a welcome step, the Government has not addressed the crisis Australia is facing in aged care. In fact, for Western Australia I am deeply concerned that beds may need to close and many older people will face deeper hardship, particularly in regional and rural areas," said Senator Siewert.
"The Government, as anticipated, has not increased the pension rate for single parents or for those on Newstart and Youth Allowance. Not only that, they have altered Family Tax Benefit A, which will mean even less money for single parents, while the changed taper rates will reduce their capacity to take on part time work."
"It is unconscionable that the Government could treat single parents and their children in this manner. Rudd has rewritten the Hawke mandate - it seems that now, by 2020 no child of a single parent will NOT live in poverty," said Senator Siewert.
"There is mixed news for hospitals in WA, with some funding, but it is notable that Fremantle Hospital appears to have missed out. With recent reports that Fremantle Hospital has resorted to a lottery to raise much needed funds, federal support could have gone a long way."
"I am also deeply disappointed to see spending cuts in the areas of agricultural research. The cuts in areas such as Land and Water Australia will significantly affect WA's research capacity. In a time when climate change is expected to hit agriculture as never before, I'm concerned about the future of agriculture (particularly in the WA wheat belt) in light of the Government apparent lack of commitment," she concluded.
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