Australia's poorest will be hurt by the Minerals Resource Rent Tax repeal

Download this submission: 
Submission to the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal (PDF, 139 KB, 31 October 31 2013)

Media release

Release: Australia’s poorest will be hurt by the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal

The Future Party is publicly releasing its submission on the Minerals Resource Rent Tax Repeal and Other Measures Bill 2013 (MRRT Repeal) today. The submission focuses on the impact that the repeal will have on the incomes of the poorest in our country.

James Jansson, the Future Party leader, has stated “The proposed legislation doesn’t only repeal the mining tax; it will also repeal the benefits to all families with children and those who receive government support that were meant to be funded by the tax.”

The Future Party believes that reduction of support will be devastating to children of families already among the most marginalised in Australia. “The bill removes the Schoolkids Bonus, which is currently $820 per high school student and $410 per primary school student, per year. This means less money to spend on necessities, such as school uniforms, stationery and textbooks.”

“We are particularly concerned about the impact that this reduction in income will have on those who receive government payments where the parents are out of work or in single parent families. These families have faced years of stagnant welfare payments failing to match rising costs for essentials such as housing.”

“We estimate a single unemployed parent with 2 high school aged children has a weekly income of approximately $660 across all eligible benefits. The removal of the Schoolkids Bonus and the Income Support Bonus will result in the family budget dropping by $35.61.” If this family pays $350 p.w. in rent – which now buys only the most basic two bedroom accommodation in Sydney or Melbourne – they will be left with just $273 dollars per week for all other expenses: food, electricity, gas, water, internet, phone, transportation, and education costs. The MRRT Repeal will make it hard for poorer families to maintain a stable environment to raise children.

The Future Party submission recommends that any decrease in the these payments as a result of the repeal be immediately supplemented with welfare increases from other streams, such as Family Tax Benefit A and Youth Allowance, to avoid the negative effects for struggling low-income families.

In addition, the Future Party recommends a government review on costs of living of those who receive government benefits, and a review into ways that housing costs in particular can be decreased. By increasing the supply of affordable housing, governments can reduce financial pressures for people on welfare. This is a long-term recommendation, and one the Future Party considers to be essential to improving the living situations of Australian families and decreasing the costs of providing welfare.

The Future Party believes in advancing society through scientific and technological progress, which is impossible without education. If we are to improve the lives of all Australians tomorrow, we must ensure that all Australian children today have the best opportunity to succeed.

The Future Party submission to the public consultation can be found at  http://futureparty.org.au/2013/11/19/mining-tax-repeal-to-hurt-poorest

The Future Party has been informed by the Treasury that the submissions on the MRRT will be released publicly later this week at the following address:

http://www.treasury.gov.au/ConsultationsandReviews/Consultations/2013/MRRT-and-related-measures-Repeal

Media inquiries:
Saritha Manickam
Media Officer
media@futureparty.org.au
0481 373 728