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Labor abandons social justice



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SHADOW MINISTER FOR SOCIAL SECURITY

NEWS RELEASE LABOR ABANDONS SOCIAL JUSTICE

Tonight's Economic Statement shows that after years of claiming to have a mortgage on Social Justice, Labor under Keating has abandoned the concept altogether.

FAMILIES

The one-off payments to families receiving family allowance of $125-$250 is an electoral bribe which smacks of extraordinary tokenism, compared with the doubling of family allowance payments for many lower income families under Fightback.

Moreover, this payment is to be poorly targeted - thanks to Mr Keating we are to have the spectre of families on incomes of over $74,000 receiving a one-off payment of up to $250 - the same as families with no income!

NON-GOVERNMENT WELFARE

The $5 million increase in assistance to non-government welfare agencies represents more tokenism and pales into insignificance compared with the $50 million the Coalition is committed to giving such organisations.

TRAINING WAGES FOR THE UNEMPLOYED

The reform of entry level wages for young people is welcome but does not go far enough. Why should training wages be the strict preserve of youth and not older long term unemployed workers as the Coalition's AUSTRAIN program clearly recognises.

PERSONAL INCOME TAX CUTS

Where is the Social Justice in those on incomes up to $20,000 receiving no income tax cuts, whereas those on incomes from $20,700 upwards receiving all the cuts? In fact, after all the Government's tax cuts are in place, someone on an income of $100,000 will be $2464 better-off, whereas someone on $20,000 will be no better off.

If the Statement is truly about 'one nation' then surely all Australians ought to be allowed to share in real income tax reductions.

For further comment call: Senator Richard Alston on [06] 277 3605. 26 February 1992.

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