FEDERAL MP Warren Entsch has described the Gillard Government’s plan to scrap upcoming family tax benefits to thousands of local families as “another broken promise to the people of Leichhardt”.
“This family benefit would have provided $300 to eligible families with one child and $600 to families with two children or more,” Mr Entsch said today. “Local families would have budgeted for this payment, so the fact that it now won’t arrive will put extra strain on already stressed budgets.”
Mr Entsch said Labor’s series of financial disclosures over recent weeks were “the reality of massive financial incompetence”.
“With days until the Budget, we know that gross debt is approaching $300 billion and that Labor has lost control of the Budget,” he said.
“Because they have run up such a debt, they now have also had to raise the Medicare levy to help pay for DisabilityCare. So not only are families now not getting the tax benefit, but they have to pay an extra .5 per cent levy. The net result is a loss for families.”
The electorate of Leichhardt has the second highest number of people registered for Family Tax Benefit A in Queensland, and is 11th highest in the country. The region has also had the highest unemployment levels in Australia for many years.
“It’s disappointing that the Minister for Human Services, who lives here in this town, hasn’t stood up for local families in need,” Mr Entsch said.
“In fact, on ABC Adelaide’s Breakfast Show, Senator McLucas said no less than six times that it was a ‘difficult decision’ for the Government. That’s cold comfort for those who will have to wear this.“I’m looking forward to September 14 – we have the plan, experience and discipline to return the Budget to sustainable surpluses, reduce debt and provide real support to local families to help them get ahead again.”