Federal Member for Ballarat, Catherine King warned that Tony Abbott’s budget had thousands of local carers in its sights, if the recommendations of the Commission of Audit are accepted.
The Commission of Audit recommended cuts to indexation of the Carer Payment, tightening eligibility for the Carer Allowance, and limiting the Carer Supplement to one payment per carer.
“Tony Abbott fails to recognise the contribution of carers to the social and economic wellbeing of the community, with his blueprint for cuts targeting many of the most vulnerable,” Ms King said.
“Carers show enormous dedication day in, day out to support the people around them and they all should be immune from Tony Abbott’s axe.
“These changes would make lives so much harder for over 2,000 full-time carers in our local community receiving Carer Payment and more than 4,500 people receiving Carer Allowance.
“As the Commission of Audit itself states, more than 90 per cent of the recipients of the Carer Payment have no income, because of the impact their caring responsibilities have on their capacity to work.
“In light of this, the commission recommends the removal of the of a $600 Carer Supplement for carers with responsibility for the care of two people as well as reductions to the payment through changes to indexation – which only further highlights the cruel intent of these proposals.
“Along with recommendations to slow down the rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, these changes will have a devastating outcome for those who need the most support in our community.”