Monday, 28 May 2012
Private Members' Business
I rise to speak on the motion moved by the member for Melbourne which states:
That this House:
(1) resolves that Newstart payments are too low and should increase by $50 per week; and
(2) calls on the Government to find an appropriate savings measure to fund this increase.
Certainly those on the Newstart allowance, receiving just $245 per week, are finding things very difficult under this government. Just have a look at how some of the everyday costs of living have increased under this Labor government since it came to power in the December quarter of 2007. Health costs have increased by 25 per cent, education costs have increased by 31 per cent, gas is up 31 per cent, water and sewerage costs are up 59 per cent, and electricity, something that no-one in our country can live without, is up an incredible 66 per cent. And that is all before the effect of the carbon tax which will push up the cost of everything.
The best thing we can do for those on the Newstart allowance is to provide them with the hope, opportunity and dignity of obtaining and securing an ongoing job. But the only way that we can do that is by having business conditions for the private sector, especially small business, that enable them to get out and invest by starting new businesses to create real jobs. But this government, with the full support of the Greens, is doing the opposite. It is increasing red tape for small business and now has decided to burden them with the carbon tax. The greatest crime that can be perpetrated on those on the Newstart allowance is to impose upon the Australian economy not only a carbon tax but the world's largest carbon tax, one that will increase year after year.
As for those on the Newstart allowance, they will receive a double whammy from the carbon tax. They will face not only increasing costs of living as prices rise across the board—especially electricity costs—but ultimately the carbon tax, which is a job killer. It will simply make it more and more difficult for those on Newstart to find a job. Forget the deceptive nonsense espoused by members of the government that the carbon tax will be paid by the so-called big polluters, because we all know the carbon tax will simply be passed on to every single business in Australia through higher electricity costs. One must ask oneself if the member for Melbourne is culpable in forcing many more Australians on the Newstart allowance to pay this carbon tax than there otherwise would be.
The second point of the member's motion touches on an important issue. Indeed, the government should be delivering real savings measures as these will help those on Newstart by freeing up finance for our entrepreneurial small business people, aiding their efforts to generate the new jobs that we need. While it would take several days to detail the countless areas where government spending should be reduced—