Budget

I rise to contribute to today's matter of public importance.

If you are a banker or a politician, this budget will put a smile on your face because you are going to receive a number of tax cuts and benefits. However, if you are an aged pensioner, after the delivery of this budget—its official—the Liberals and Nationals hate you. And if you are an age pensioner who is sick and needs to visit the doctor, the measures in this Liberal budget regarding health and Medicare show that they really actually hate you.

 

If this tricky budget, with $13B of Tony Abbot's cuts to family welfare still embedded in it, is allowed to pass this parliament after a double dissolution election then 2.5 million Australian pensioners, including the 70,000 pensioners in Tasmania, 800,000 in New South Wales, 470,000 in Queensland and 615,000 in Victoria—and I guess you will not be getting any of those 470,00 votes in Queensland, Senator Macdonald—will all be severely financially disadvantaged and out of pocket. What is that going to do to economic growth and job creation for Australia, with all those broke pensioners living below the poverty line?

Malcolm Turnbull's Treasurer quoted statistics from the OECD in order to justify cuts to company tax. Instead of quoting OECD statistics on company tax rates, he should have quoted the OECD report which found that more than one-third of Australian pensioners are living below the poverty line. The OECD report indicated that our government is: (1) ranked second lowest on social equity, with 36 per cent of pensioners living below the poverty line; and (2) spends 3.5 percent of our GDP on the pension, below the OECD average of 7.9 percent.

Australia will borrow at least $50 billion over the next 10 years to give away in foreign aid. My plan is simply to redirect $25 billion of foreign aid into the age pension and boost the average single Tasmanian age pension by $50 a fortnight for singles and the couple age pension by $76.