ACOSS welcomes Labor’s commitment to funding services over high-end tax cuts but people on Newstart again left behind

ACOSS welcomes the Opposition’s commitment tonight to give priority to funding essential services over big tax cuts for people on higher incomes but remains deeply concerned about people on Newstart again being left behind.

“We welcome wholeheartedly the major commitments tonight from the Opposition on the NDIS, support for people fighting cancer, and funding for TAFE and apprentices,” said ACOSS CEO Dr Cassandra Goldie.

“We also welcome the Opposition’s renewed commitment to remove the Government’s tax cuts for higher income earners that will otherwise cost $20 billion per year.

“ACOSS maintains the view that now is not the time for tax cuts whilst gaps exist in our essential services. For people on modest incomes, providing universal access to health, education and early childhood education is a higher priority.

“People on the lowest incomes do not benefit from tax cuts. One third of households don’t benefit from tax cuts at all because their incomes are too low to pay income tax.

“People on Newstart are again being left behind. While Labor has committed to a review of Newstart should it win government, we do not need a review to know that Newstart is not working.

“We urgently need to increase Newstart by $75 per week. We must provide immediate relief to people to get through tough times and into suitable employment. An immediate increase to Newstart would also provide the most effective boost to consumer spending at a time when local economies need it, including in regional areas.

“The most effective way to tackle the worst poverty is to increase Newstart so people can cover the basics while they look for paid work,” Dr Goldie said.