Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Labor fails to uphold its values for the most needy

Australia's annual budget has been announced. Veteran political journalist Adele Horin writes: "The Rudd Government has missed a historic chance to tackle the plight of the poorest people in Australia - the growing numbers of unemployed. It is never a good time to increase the unemployment benefit - the Newstart Allowance, which consigns single people in particular to a below-poverty line existence of $226 a week. But in a period where the unemployed are clearly blameless, and on the rise, when the Prime Minister enjoys huge popularity, this was the opportune moment to make a structural change to the payment.

"A much more aggressive assault on middle-class, or more particularly upper middle-class and business welfare, would have enabled the Government to extend the generosity it has shown to pensioners to the unemployed.

"Sole parents also get nothing from this budget - and have been dealt a severe blow ..."
Sydney Morning Herald

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