Dawn Walker slams government over family tax benefit
RICHMOND Greens candidate Dawn Walker has slammed the federal government over the scrapping of its proposed boost to Family Tax Benefit, claiming it will affect 12,000 Tweed families.
Planned to kick in on July 1, Richmond MP Justine Elliot said "the government is not in a position to proceed with the additional boost for family payments due later this year."
"Family benefits boost would have provided a maximum of $600 extra a year to eligible Australian families," Ms Walker said.
"This reduction in promised benefits will potentially affect over 12,000 families in Tweed Shire."
Mrs Elliot said since the payments were not planned to start until July 1, "no family will lose a cent with this decision."
"In the circumstances we find ourselves in with falling revenues we need to make responsible decisions," she said.
"It's important to make clear (that) no family will lose payments because of this decision because the planned increases haven't started yet."
"The Labor party has a strong record which shows that we have delivered more support to local families than ever before."
She said through delivering the SchoolKids Bonus, tripling the tax free threshold, increasing family payments and increasing the childcare rebate Labor continued to help families.
Ms Walker said in last year's budget, Labor pledged about $1.8 billion over four years to increase the rate of Family Tax Benefit Part A, as part of its package to spread the benefits of the mining boom.
She claims Labor is now looking to families to raise revenue rather than "fixing loopholes in the mining tax."
"Why are the resources giants being tiptoed around and protected from any tax increase, while families are being asked to foot the bill for the budget black hole?" she asked.
"The Parliamentary Budget Office has costed initiatives which show that the government could raise $26 billion if it fixed the mining tax and a further $13 billion would be raised if it scrapped government fossil fuel subsidies to the big mining companies.
Nationals candidate for Richmond Matthew Fraser said "you can't trust Labor with money or border protection."
"At a cost of $13m per boat, now arriving up to four times a day, these funds could be spent on local families in Tweed and Byron Shires," he said.
"When is Labor going to get there priorities right?
"Labor have shown themselves to be completely incompetent when it comes to managing money and protecting the borders."