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How ‘fair’ was it? See ACOSS response to 2015 Federal budget

‘While the 2015-16 Budget delivered welcome new investment in early childhood education and care and charted a fairer path on pension reform, the combined effect of the two budgets is to leave people on low incomes to once again bear the burden of Budget restraint.

‘ACOSS estimates that, combined, the two budgets strip approximately $15 billion over four years from basic services and supports affecting low and middle income households, with total projected cuts of $80 billion from health and schools funding to the states over the next decade.

‘Disappointingly, the 2015-16 Budget retains severe cuts to payments and programs from the 2014-15 Budget, in some cases linking savings measures from 2014-15 to new spending measures, and delivers new cuts to child dental and community health programs.

‘At the same time, despite some modest action towards revenue repair, the Budget failed to deliver the structural reform needed to ensure Budget sustainability into the future. The experience of the 2014-15 Budget shows that the alternative approach of eroding the social safety net through cuts to services and supports will not be accepted by the community or the Parliament.’

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