« Back to Publications

New migrants on board the budget-cut omnibus

Peter Mares writes in Inside Story (9.9.16) about the federal government’s proposed ‘budget repair’ measures, included among which is a little-noticed savings measure that further erodes the nation’s welfare safety net.

‘Arguments about the “moral challenge” of budget repair will intensify next week when the Coalition’s omnibus bill of $6.1 billion in spending cuts returns from its lightning-fast consideration by a Senate committee. The Economics Legislation Committee was given just twelve days to consider the bill, so any interested parties who wanted to comment had only four days to lodge a submission.

‘Some measures in the bill have been widely canvassed, especially two related to climate change: the $1.3 billion cut to the Australian Renewable Energy Agency, and the removal of the small energy supplement originally introduced in 2013 to compensate people on government benefits for the impact of the Gillard government’s carbon price.

‘Other cuts have almost escaped notice, including the proposal to deny recent family migrants access to government payments for at least two years. The government calculates this measure will save $225 million over four years from 1 January 2017.

‘… When the MYEFO changes were announced in December, Labor’s shadow citizenship and multiculturalism minister, Michelle Rowland, condemned the removal of the waiting period exemption for Centrelink payments. She said that prime minister Malcolm Turnbull had “ripped support from newly arrived migrants,” making him “crueller than Abbott”. Yet Labor now appears to have quietly signed up to the change under its election promise to support “responsible savings measures”.

‘In this way, Australia’s welfare system is eroded, bit-by-bit, without debate or protest. In fact, without most of us even noticing.’

The TJRyan Foundation does not guarantee the accuracy, currency or completeness of any information or material available on this website. The TJRyan Foundation reserves the right to change information or material on this website at any time without notice. Links from this site to external, non-TJRyan Foundation websites should not be construed as implying any relationship with and/or endorsement of the external site or its content by the TJR Foundation, nor any commercial relationship with the owners of any external site. Should any TJRyan research project be funded by an individual or organisation the source of funding will be stated beside the research report. In all other cases contributions are provided on a pro bono basis.
Receive the latest news

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Get notified about new articles

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.