Poor hit hard with Federal Budget cuts

Ken Marchingo.

Ken Marchingo.

THE Federal Budget will force poor people to do the heavy lifting while the rich completely escape, says Haven; Home, Safe chief executive Ken Marchingo.

"What we've seen is ideology dressed as economics," Mr Marchingo said.

"What we've got is politics masquerading as policy.

"What we've seen in this budget is like an undergraduate university politics club expounding simple solutions for complex problems.

"In a modern, complex, pluralistic economy, bobbing around in an international sea of complexity and competing economies, beating up poor people is not the way to get ahead."

The Abbott government's first budget includes changes to eligibility for Youth Allowance and Family Tax Benefit B.

Also, people under 30 will wait up to six months before getting unemployment benefits, and then will have to participate in Work for the Dole, to be eligible for income support.

What we've got is politics masquerading as policy. - Ken Marchingo

"The notion that people under the age of 30 are somehow so well progressed in their life that they can lose their job, meet their rent, meet their utilities, feed and clothe themselves whilst unemployed, without a shred of government assistance for six months ... Who on earth are they kidding?

"We have a welfare system that assumes if people are homeless, that they will receive the meagre, minimalist assistance. And rents are based on that.

"Organisations such as mine are very significant commercial borrowers to build business models based on exactly that.

Welfare group raises concerns

"A portion of people who will become homeless, and they will become homeless because of this polity because they can't pay their rent if they lose their income, will come to services like mine (Haven; Home, Safe).

"I'm going to look at them square in the eye and say, 'I can give you a blanket, I can show you where the bridge is'. What sort of a response is that? 

"This is retribution and punishment for the poor. That disturbs me because that particular piece of the budget is nothing more than tea party ideology."

hannah.knight@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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