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Tenth Costello budget applies a familiar formula.

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Duncan Kerr SC MP


11 May 2005


Targeting the less well-off and rewarding the wealthy are again features of the Costello Budget, Denison MHR Duncan Kerr, said from Canberra today.

"Tasmanians on low and modest incomes, single parents, people living with disabilities all lose out in yet another example of the Howard Government delivering benefits to the few.

"The relatively small sector of the Tasmanian workforce who earn as much as $125 000 a year are among the few big winners.

"For the many Tasmanians who are on low incomes, the tax cuts amount to what one commentator described as little more than an extra sandwich and TWO milkshakes.

"The great bulk of workers receive only miniscule relief ? about $6.00 a week for 8 out of 10 taxpayers ? cold comfort for those already hit by the March interest rate rise.

"With a surplus of more than $9billion, the Howard Government could have done more to lift struggling Tasmanians over the poverty line, but instead it chose to save the best Budget treats for those who need it least.

"From the introduction of the GST to the end of the forward estimates period (2008-09), around 7 out of 10 taxpayers will receive a tax cut of only $12 per week or less.

"Meanwhile, single-parents and Tasmanians living with disabilities are again being demonised with no regard for what can be a daily struggle to put food on the table, pay the rent and bills.

"Every Tasmanian who wants to work should have the opportunity to do so, but for single-parents the job is already full-time, even with school-age children. When there is no support from a partner, the going can get very tough. Forcing people into work fails to recognise the strains already in place.

"In my experience with constituents who receive the Disability Support Pension, many who want to find work say they are discriminated against and

that the jobs simply aren?t there for them. The Costello Budget fails to provide a compassionate, focussed solution to the real problem," Mr Kerr said.