The Government has ignored calls to increase Newstart
The Australian Government has tried to frame this as a ‘Budget for older Australians’, but with only minor changes to aged care, the Pension Loans Scheme, Work Bonus, super and elder abuse initiatives it does not live up to the hype.
Some of the more revealing measures are things the Government is not doing.
The Government is not dropping plans to force people to work until they are 70 and they’re not dropping plans to axe the Energy Supplement for new pension recipients, leaving new pensioners $14 a fortnight worse off. Just to be clear, if you are currently receiving the Energy Supplement you won’t lose it unless there’s a break in your eligibility.
The Government has ignored calls to increase Newstart, which is worth a measly $40 a day.
The Government is virtually silent on housing affordability. There was no commitment in the Budget to increase social housing or address the inadequacy of Rent Assistance.
But maybe the best measure in the 2018 Budget is the $300,000 the Government has dedicated to enhance cruise ship access to Sydney.