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Budget delivers for low waged families

UNITINGCARE Australia said the Federal Budget is fiscally responsible, fair overall and will deliver a chance at a decent life for more Australians.

National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds, said the suite of Budget initiatives promises a brighter future for families and unemployed Australians.

"Reducing executive tax perks and golden hand-shakes, better targeting superannuation concessions, and deferring defence spending have enabled the Government to spend more on the things that matter," she said.

"Investment in aged-care reform, rolling out the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and better access to dental services for low income and disadvantaged Australians are particularly welcome initiatives.

"Previously mooted company tax cuts of $4.5 billion have been shelved and the revenue saved largely redirected to families and unemployed Australians through the new Benefits of the Boom package.

"This package boosts support for families by $1.8 billion, and includes a new supplementary allowance worth $1.1 billion for people receiving Newstart, Youth Allowance and Parenting Payment.

While this very modest allowance falls well short of the $50 a week increase we called for it's a trend in the right direction.

"We hope it's a down-payment on a decent increase in unemployment benefits in next year's budget.

"It's disappointing to see the Government has proceeded with plans to cut parenting support for single parents whose children are older than eight years, an effective drop in income of almost $120 a fortnight.

"However increases to the Jobs Education and Training program and more childcare for unemployed single parents will assist people as they move into jobs and provide a better start for vulnerable children.

"The new Schoolkids Bonus cashes out an inefficient and ineffective tax refund system that failed to deliver the full education benefit to nearly 80 per cent of eligible households.

"Budgets are all about choices.

They expose our values as a nation.

This Federal Budget overall delivers a better deal for many Australians," Ms Hatfield Dodds said.

The UnitingCare network provides social services to over 2 million people each year in 1300 sites in remote, rural and metropolitan Australia.