Friday, 14 April 2017

Turnbull denies government is looking to cancel all welfare payments which are worth below $520.53 a year to a Centrelink recipient

Only 25 days until welfare recipients find out whether Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was telling the truth or a big fat political lie........

Images via @samanthamaiden

The Courier Mail, 19 March 2017:

WELFARE recipients would lose their concession cards and up to $49.10 a fortnight under secret budget savings costed by the Turnbull government.

A leaked document reveals the federal Government looked at scrapping all welfare payments below $20.02 a fortnight as part of the May budget……

“The objective of this proposal is to simplify administration of the payments system by setting a consistent floor below which payments would not be made, to avoid making small fortnightly payments,” the costings document said.

In its advice, the department warned the government those affected by the change would include “some who have experienced substantial reductions in payments as a result of recent policy changes” such as the ­assets test.

The document said the plan may cause “concern among affected age pension recipients”.

Despite costing the policy, Social Services Minister Christian Porter said the government had “no plans” for a minimum payment across all welfare ­categories.

Australian Council of Social Services (ACOSS) chief executive Dr Cassandra Goldie warned the government against welfare changes, saying Australia already has one of the most targeted system of ­income support.

She said the costed proposal would put pressure on “people who are trying to make ends meet”……

“Once again, this kind of proposal targets people on low and modest incomes to make savings,” Dr Goldie said.

“Pensioners, people on allowances and single parents stand to be affected if they are getting a small part of their overall income from income support.

The Australian, 19 March 2017:

The executive summary in the Department of Social Services costings document states: “As part of Budget Repair, it is proposed that from 1 July 2018, the minimum amount payable to social security payments recipients would be $20.02 a fortnight.

“If, after the application of the income and assets tests, a recipient’s notional fortnightly entitlement would be less than $20.02 but greater than $0, they will not receive a payment,” it says….

Mr Turnbull this morning issued a series of tweets, disputing that there would be any cut to aged pensions, but notably not addressing the claim that the proposal was costed.

“A report today that the government is cutting the aged pension is false and we outright reject it,” the Prime Minister tweeted. “I can assure all aged pensioners the measure reported will NOT be in the Budget.

“We assured the journalist too, but she insisted on writing the story. And sadly, I can also assure you that you can always rely on Bill Shorten to lie.”

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