Tony Abbott’s Budget Lets Down Ethnic Communities

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THE HON TANYA PLIBERSEK MP

DEPUTY LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

SHADOW MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT

MEMBER FOR SYDNEY

MICHELLE ROWLAND MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTURALISM

SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS

MEMBER FOR GREENWAY

SENATOR SAM DASTYARI

SENATOR FOR NEW SOUTH WALES

 

MEDIA RELEASE

TONY ABBOTT’S BUDGET LETS DOWN ETHNIC COMMUNITIES

 

Today in Sydney we briefed ethnic organisations about the terrible impact of the Abbott Government’s Budget on culturally and linguistically diverse communities.

The key concerns raised at the briefing included cuts to funding for multicultural programs, the SBS, health and education, as well as changes to the pension.

In his Budget, Mr Abbott cut $33 million from ethnic community organisations.  These groups work hard to help build a cohesive and inclusive Australia, often on very modest budgets.

The Abbott Government’s cuts have created great uncertainty in the sector, putting many critical programs and services at risk.

Some organisations that were awarded funding by the previous Labor Government have had it ripped from their hands.

Before the election, Tony Abbott promised no cuts to the SBS.

“…no cuts to the ABC or SBS”

Tony Abbott - SBS News – 6 September 2013

But he’s broken that promise by ripping $8 million out of the SBS in his Budget.

This will seriously affect ethnic communities in Australia as many migrant communities rely heavily on specialist news and language services that are only provided by SBS.

Before the election Tony Abbott also promised he wouldn’t cut health, education, or change the pension.

“…no cuts to health, no cuts to education, no changes to pensions…”

Tony Abbott - ABC News – 6 September 2013

But, in his Budget, he broke every single one of those promises.

Mr Abbott’s Budget cuts $80 billion from hospitals and schools – the biggest in Australian history.

Tony Abbott’s broken promise on changes to pensions is an unprecedented attack on Australia’s pension system, and the millions of people who rely on it.

Tony Abbott will slash the current fair indexation system – which makes sure the pension keeps pace with the cost of living.

Had Tony Abbott’s new indexation system been in place for the last four years, a single pensioner on the maximum rate would be over $1,500 a year worse off than they are today.

The Budget will also increase the pension age to 70 by 2035.

Australians will have to work longer, and their pension will be significantly reduced when they finally do retire.

Australia’s 3.2 million pensioners – already living on a very modest pension of around $20,000 – are going to have their pensions cut, while millionaires will get up to $50,000 to have a baby.

On top of this, all pensioners and state seniors card holders are set to lose valuable concessions for public transport and utilities with the abolition of the National Partnership on Certain Concessions for Pensioners Concession Card and Seniors Card Holders.   

In attendance today were members of the Chinese, Sub-Continent, Vietnamese, Greek, and African communities, all interested in hearing about the effects of the Abbott Government’s Budget of broken promises.


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