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The Federal Budget 2014

May 14, 2014

The Budget released yesterday is deeply distressing, both for individuals and for our nation.

This is a budget that churches and community groups regard as truly divisive. There is little pain for those who are wealthy or for those groups supported by the Coalition, such as the military and the big business end of town. It is those at the bottom of the economic and social ladder who will pay the price for the budget deficit.

  • Pensions will be less generous. From 2017, 3.8 million pensioners will lose out
  • Two million families will lose part or all of their family payments
  • Young people lose any rights to unemployment benefits for a minimum of six months
  • University students will pay more for degrees
  • The free visit to the doctor is no longer a possibility
  • Prescriptions will cost more
  • Motorists will pay more for petrol
  • Indigenous programs will be reduced
  • Emissions funds, renewables, and environmental agencies will be cut
  • Overseas development aid will be slashed
  • Foreign aid will be frozen at current levels

At the same time, since 2008, the top 1% of the population has accumulated 95% and more of the wealth of this country and the world. These people are not targeted by this Government. The military budget will also be increased, with $1.8 billion being fast-tracked into defence hardware.

This is clearly a budget which will hit those at the bottom of the ladder most harshly – those who are sick, poor, unemployed young people, and aged and disabled pensioners. And while those who earn more than $200,000 a year might complain about the $7.7 dollars they have to pay a week (for two years only!), this budget will divide the community, and force people into poverty in ways we have not seen for many years in Australia.

As Josephites, we are deeply disturbed by these decisions, which will affect those most in need of justice and a fair deal.

You are encouraged to write or phone your local member of Parliament, expressing your concern, and asking for a fair deal for all Australians.