HSV Submissions – Mmm 2014

Federal Budget Concerns

Letter sent dd Mmmm 2014 to the Prime Minister and 22 other MPs

In HSV’s letter, we expressed our concern over the proposed 2014 Australian Budget, which we understand will create hardship and suffering for many people.

We presented specific objections regarding:

  • Co-payments for basic health services;
  • 6-month wait for Newstart support;
  • Changes to education funding;
  • Axing of, or funding cuts to, modern Australian social infrastructure;
  • Cuts to foreign aid;
  • Expensive and inhumane off-shore detention of asylum seekers; and
  • Funding of school chaplains to the detriment of qualified secular counsellors.

We asked MPs to create a more equitable Budget that best fulfils the Australian Government’s responsibilities to build a strong, fair and cohesive society, while also protecting its most vulnerable members.

In response to the foregoing submission, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs and Trade stated:

  • Australia is delivering an affordable $5 billion foreign aid program in its difficult financial position.
  • Poverty reduction remains Australia’s important goal, but there is now also focus on regional economic growth.
  • Until Australia’s domestic economy is back on a sustainable footing, the government will not commit to the international Gross National Income ratios cited in the HSV submission.

Responding to our expressed concerns about the 2014 budget, the Prime Minister stated that this budget was tough, fair and responsible. Further, he stated that our country needed such a budget to build a strong and prosperous economy and a safe Australia. The previous government ran up record deficits, which needed policy changes. His government’s budget includes the biggest investment in infrastructure and a health research endowment fund. It also freezes parliamentarians’ pay, ends the Gold Pass, ensures that young people are earning or learning, liberates universities from Canberra’s control, ends the age of entitlement for big business and gets spending under control by making tough decisions now rather than putting them off. Further, all Australians are participating in this repair, making the load lighter for everyone. (Attached was a copy of the budget summary.)