Saturday, 18 May 2013

What Abbott's axing of "the twice a year supplementary allowance to people on benefits" would mean to the Northern Rivers

In his Budget Reply Speech of 16 May 2013 the Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott stated:

Tonight, I confirm that we won’t continue the twice a year supplementary allowance to people on benefits [Hansard,16 May 2013,p.91].

The only supplementary allowance which appears to fit Tony Abbott’s wording is the Income Support Bonus.

This seems to be confirmed by the following media report:

These figures equal the annual amount of the Income Support Bonus.

The Income Support Bonus is paid to those receiving the following:

ABSTUDY Living Allowance
Exceptional Circumstances Payment
Newstart Allowance
Parenting Payment
Sickness Allowance
Special Benefit
Transitional Farm Family Payment
Youth Allowance

Given demographics across the Northern Rivers, if the Gillard Government were to be defeated and this payment were to cease sometime after September 14, then a conservatively estimated 40,000 residents will be missing out on money they first began to receive on 20 March 2013.

In the Page electorate alone in December 2012 there were:

157 people receiving the Abstudy Living Allowance
304 receiving Austudy
N/K people receiving Exceptional Circumstances Payment
5,795 people receiving Newstart Allowance
4,207 people receiving Parenting Payment
67 people receiving Sickness Allowance
<20 people receiving Special Benefit
N/K receiving Transitional Farm Family Payment
1,331 people receiving Youth Allowance

Under an Abbott government around 10,000 people in the Page electorate would no longer receive the Income Support Bonus, a similar number would lose out in the Lyne electorate and, even higher numbers in the Cowper and Richmond electorates.

Most of these would be single parents, families on low incomes and the unemployed.

Readers can look up the figures in their own electorates here.

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