Opinion

LETTER: Poorest hit hardest from Abbott's funding cuts

LETTER TO EDITOR: While we welcome the upgrades to the Bruce Hwy, which I might add were well under way during the previous Labor government, there is concern the Infrastructure Prime Minister has become the Inequality Prime Minister.

He seems more than happy to take money away from programs that help the poorest and the most vulnerable in the community.

He's not concerned at all to remove money from indigenous programs, pensioners, single parents and Landcare groups to fund his great big infrastructure program, but he is certainly less than happy to take money from the big end of town.

Mr Hockey was quick to dismiss Labor's plan, costed by the Parliamentary Budget Office, to recoup $1.9 billion from companies that send their profits overseas to low-taxing countries, and in some cases zero-taxing countries, to minimise tax.

This government has no qualms in hitting programs for the most vulnerable and that actually do good work in our communities.

Over the next five years $534 million will be cut from indigenous programs administered by the Prime Minister and Cabinet and Health portfolios. The peak body for indigenous legal services has been forced to close.

Community night patrols and early childhood programs will have to go.

Early intervention programs that aim to prevent young Aboriginal people going to jail, programs to help victims of domestic violence and encourage Aboriginal children to stay at school have all been cut.

If they get their way in the Senate they plan to link pensions to CPI effectively cutting pensions over the long term by $80 a week.

Then there is the $5.5 billion cuts to family payments.

Because of last year's budget, single income families on around $65,000 will be as much as $6000 a year worse off.

The environment too gets a whack - they cut $470 million from Landcare. So short-sighted because Landcare is particularly effective at engaging local communities.

For each dollar invested by the government, a further $12 is contributed in kind by the community and local landholders.

Cutting funding from important programs is not the answer because ultimately the cost to the community is too great.

And in the case of Landcare our environment suffers.

Mr Abbott needs to reconsider Labor's proposal to get multinational companies to pay their fair share of tax.

- Lucy Stanton, Boreen Point

Topics:  editors picks, federal politics, funding cuts, letter to the editor, tony abbott




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