Selectivity: Government ignores $8.4b in carbon price compensation

While the Turnbull government has argued that carbon price compensation for welfare recipients must be cut because there is no longer a price on carbon, the income tax cuts delivered at part of the Gillard reforms will remain, and cost the budget bottom line far more.

The government claimed $1.3 billion in savings over the forward estimates from cutting incomes of the poorest Australians, including those unemployed, on the age pension, in carer roles and single parents.

New research from The Australia Institute has revealed that the changes to income tax rates which accompanied the implementation of the Clean Energy Act will be worth, conservatively, $8.4 billion over the forward estimates. 

“The Government’s justification for these cuts is selective. And to select only those who can least afford to take an income cut runs in sharp contrast to claims that budget repair would be ‘fair’,” Executive Director of The Australia Institute, Ben Oquist said.

New polling of over 10,000 released today reveals very strong opposition (55%) to cutting Newstart, with only 32% of respondents supportive of the government policy. (full results below)

“The public do not support cutting the income of the very poorest Australians. Inequality is a growing problem and the ruthless targeting of the less fortunate goes against our national compact and fair-go culture.

“At the time of the Sydney Olympics, a couple on unemployment benefits had enough income to put them on the poverty line. These cuts would put Newstart 32% below it,” Oquist said.

Question: The Newstart allowance is currently $263.80 per week for a single person with no children. The Turnbull government proposes to cut Newstart for new recipients by $4.40 a week (removing the clean energy supplement).

Should the Senate pass the legislation cutting the Newstart allowance?

 

Total

Female

Male

18 – 34

35 – 50

51 – 65

65+

Yes 

32.3%

28.5%

36.3%

33.0%

33.8%

31.0%

30.2%

No

54.9%

56.6%

53.1%

54.7%

52.9%

58.8%

53.1%

Don’t know

12.9%

14.9%

10.7%

12.3%

13.3%

10.2%

16.8%

 

 

Total

L/NP

Labor

Greens

Oth/Ind

Und

Yes

32.3%

56.6%

11.5%

6.9%

33.9%

28.7%

No

54.9%

28.5%

80.0%

82.1%

54.5%

41.5%

Don’t know

12.9%

14.9%

8.5%

11.0%

11.5%

29.8%

 

 

Total

NSW

VIC

QLD

WA

SA

TAS

NT

ACT

Yes

32.3%

32.6%

28.3%

39.7%

30.0%

28.5%

29.5%

34.4%

31.6%

No

54.9%

55.4%

59.1%

46.8%

56.9%

56.3%

58.6%

45.8%

57.3%

Don’t know

12.9%

12.0%

12.6%

13.5%

13.1%

15.2%

11.8%

19.8%

11.1%

 

 

Total

Income <$600

Income $600-$1000

Income $1000-$2000

Income >$2000

Income   No answer

Yes

32.3%

23.8%

33.6%

35.0%

41.4%

32.2%

No

54.9%

62.9%

55.3%

53.9%

50.1%

48.9%

Don’t know

12.9%

13.3%

11.0%

11.1%

8.5%

19.0%

Related research

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