Tonight ASU officials and staff have been on standby in Canberra to analyse the Federal Budget and give you a rapid overview of how the Budget will affect ASU members - our work, our lives, our communities.
While it will take a bit longer to digest all of the fine detail, we do know one thing - this is another cruel Budget from the heartless Abbott Government.
What we know:
How the Budget will affect your working life
- Attack on paid parental leave - reducing access to paid parental leave from July 2016. It is estimated that this will affect up to 46% of mothers. Union members who have fought for paid parental leave from their employer may no longer be able to access the Government parental leave scheme, effectively limiting paid parental leave to 18 weeks for many union members who have fought for more.
- Attack on salary packaging for members working in non-government community services - introducing a cap on meal, entertainment and holiday packaging which will affect members take home pay and family budgeting and devaluing the vital work of our members in the community sector.
How the Budget will affect your living conditions
- Child care subsidies cut for any stay-at-home parent with a partner earning more than $65,000 per year.
- Cuts in family tax benefits which failed to pass the Senate last year.
- Government to continue its crusade to increase university fees which could see $100,000 degrees.
- Continuation of the billions of dollars in cuts to health and education from last year's Budget.
- No new funding for vocational education and TAFE.
How the Budget will affect your industry
- Uncertainty and insecurity for community sector funding - short term extensions for some funding areas such as homelessness funding, but many of the cuts to community services in last year's Budget have remained in place. The Government is trying to silence the community as they prepare for an election in the next year.
- Government to continue its privatisation agenda - they are planning to privatise the Australian Rail Track Corporation (a vital part of our rail infrastructure management) where ASU members work and the Government is going to continue to provide bonus cash to state governments if they privatise state services like water, utilities or transport.
How the Budget will affect the most vulnerable in our community - the people thousands of ASU members in the community sector work with every day to support
- No additional funding to front line domestic violence services.
- Unemployed young people will still have to wait several weeks before receiving income support.
- A restricting of the eligibility of the pension which will affect many people.
- Changes to job services Australia that provide no investment in the creation of new jobs (just a new name for the program).
As more detail comes to hand we will provide you with further updates. For now it is important that as union members we unite to resist this conservative Government's attack on our living standards and life at work.