The Australian Greens said people on the lowest incomes have been ignored in the budget which has projected a so-called "surplus" at the expense of people doing it tough.
“It is as if this is a budget for a world where people on Newstart don’t exist. They didn’t get the increase in payment so desperatley needed and people on Newstart don’t get the $75 energy bribe.
“Meanwhile, high income earners get permanent so called ‘tax relief’.
“It is political cruelty when a Government won’t increase a payment that leaves people in poverty and hasn’t had an increase is nearly 25 years.
“Does the Government really want us to be impressed that they projected a “surplus” while condemning people to poverty?
“We need more information on the $2.1 billion in savings that is coming out of changing the way income support recipients report their income. I always smell a rat whenever I see savings measures coming out of our social safety net.
“It is hugely disappointing that despite a growing group of social services groups, economists and even members of the Coalition calling for an increase to the Newstart payment, the Government has failed to increase the payment which would also be a boost to the Australian economy.
"This budget means that not only are people condemned to poverty on Newstart, they are stuck on the jobactive program that is completely unfit for purpose. Jobactive is failing and the Government’s answer do to more trials and move to a digital portal?
“There is no overall strategy and investment in mental health on the levels that we need.
“We need a strategic approach with transparency in funding You shouldn’t only be able to access good mental health services just because you happen to live in an electorate with a service provider who is in favour with the Government.”
Lucy Cowcher-Guthrie: 0418 401 180