The announcement of Liberal Party candidates for the seats of Cunningham and Whitlam comes on the same day as modelling from the Australian National University confirms that the 2016 Budget will hit the region’s poorest families hardest.
Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips said that vulnerable people in the Illawarra, Southern Highlands and South Coast have been unfairly targeted by the Coalition.
Sharon Bird said that the findings should come as no surprise.
“This was a Budget designed to help out those who can afford to help themselves and hit Australians struggling to get by.
“The impact in the local area will be severe. We know from last year’s ‘Dropping Off the Edge’ report that Warrawong, Port Kembla and Berkeley are in the top five per cent of disadvantaged postcodes in the state.
“They are going to lose out, this regressive Budget is going to be a hammer blow to households struggling to pay the bills.
“Ms Blicavs will have to explain why well-of couples with children will be $392 better off while struggling families suffer under Mr Turnbull’s Budget.”
Stephen Jones said that the findings raised some harsh questions that the Liberal party must provide answers to.
“The ANU researchers have found that once all the Budget’s measures are in place single-parents families in the poorest 20 per cent of all households will be $1,407 a year worse off.
“This could be the difference between being able to afford healthy foods like fruit and vegetables, medicines at the pharmacy or a trip to the GP, dentist or specialist or going without.
“The Liberal candidate for Whitlam Dr Carolyn Currie, who lives in North Sydney, may need to take a crash course in what it is like for struggling families in the Illawarra.”
Fiona Phillips said that the Turnbull-Morrison Budget would punish low income families trying to improve their lives and provide a brighter future for their children.
“They won’t be able to pull themselves up and the health of vulnerable people will suffer as a result; this is the opposite direction to which we should be heading as a nation.
“What this modelling tells us is this - low-income families with children are shouldering the responsibility of so-called Budget ‘repair’. It’s isn’t fair, everyone deserves a fair go.”
THURSDAY, 12 MAY 2016