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Working families under increasing financial pressure as Federal Budget hit looms

04 August 2014 By ACTU

Treasury figures revealed under Freedom of Information laws prove that Treasurer Joe Hockey always knew his line 'We're all in it together' was untrue.

The Treasury analysis shows that the Federal Budget will cost low-income families on average $842 as opposed to high income earners losing only $71.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said the Federal Government has known all along that the Budget would hit poorer householders much harder than wealthier people.

"Instead of punishing hardworking Australians and the most vulnerable in our society with these cruel and unfair budget cuts, the Government should be focussed on creating jobs and growing the economy," Ms Kearney said.

"The Budget cuts from Government are coming at a time of increased rhetoric from the business lobby about the need to decrease Australian wages and conditions.

"Yet figures show wages growth is low and lagging behind inflation, while labour productivity growth is the highest in a decade – the attack by Government and business groups is simply an ideological agenda," said Ms Kearney.

The Treasury figures come as a new ME Bank survey shows increasing financial pressure on ordinary Australian families with 54% reporting they are unable to save any money from their weekly budget.

"Families are clearly feeling financial pressure, and the impact of the Budget on the lowest paid and middle income families is significant," Ms Kearney said.

The ME Bank survey shows worrying trends with families increasingly being unable to save, with less cash on hand for emergencies, and with growing pessimism about their financial futures. 67% of those surveyed expected the impact of the Budget to affect their financial situation, and rated 'legislative change' as a top five concern, with 29% rating it as their top concern.

"The ME Bank survey shows that many families are struggling and that their wages are not keeping pace with family costs.

"Unions strongly oppose the Government's unfair Budget measures and will continue to campaign against them.

"Unions are also committed to campaigning to protect take home pay by resisting the Government's and business attacks on penalty rates, and we will continue to fight to raise and protect Australia's minimum wage in the face of the Commission of Audit report which called for a cut to the minimum wage every year for 10 years."

Media contact: Kara Douglas, 0418 793 885

Contact Details
Name: David Smith, ASU National Secretary
Telephone: 03 9342 1400