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Millionaires row sucking even harder on the welfare teat.

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r Sen Chris Evans Leader of the Opposition in the Senate Shadow Minister for Indigenous Affairs Shadow Minister for Family and Community Services

11 August 2005

Millionaires Row Sucking Even Harder on the Welfare Teat

The number of millionaires claiming Family Tax Benefit Part B continues to grow each year.

Shadow Family and Community Service Minister Senator Chris Evans says the Howard Government is out of touch with the needs and aspirations of ordinary Australian families.

Answers to Senate Estimates Committee questions revealing that 76 families with annual incomes of more than $1 million received FTB Part B in 2003/4 ought to cause an outrage.

That is up from the 31 millionaire families who enjoyed this tax-free benefit the previous year.

Further, 352 families earning over $500 000 received the benefit in 2003/4.

'How can the Howard Government justify welfare for millionaires while ripping off families on average earnings - who often face repaying welfare debts in the thousands of dollars?

'Also many more families face savage cuts to their incomes under the Howard Government's so-called welfare to work policies.

'Single parent families will struggle even harder to feed their children - a fact acknowledged in Senate Estimates hearings by the Department charged with putting in place this cruel regime.

These latest figures reinforce Labor's commitment to introduce a single family payment with a consistent income test for all Australian families who need Government support.

For more information please call media adviser John McNamara: 02 62773233, 0418 308599.