Release type: Media Release


Abbott to punish job seekers and single parents


The Hon Bill Shorten MP
Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Financial Services and Superannuation

Tony Abbott’s announcement to cut Labor’s $1.1 billion Income Support Bonus will make it harder for more than one million Australians to make ends meet.

Under a Liberal government $1.1 billion in cash payments will be stripped away for more than:

  • 650,000 Australians on Newstart;
  • 350,000 Australians on Parenting payments; and
  • 300,000 Australians on Youth Allowance payments.

Paid in two installments in March and September each year, the Income Support Bonus provides more than one million Australians with $210 extra each year for eligible singles and $350 to eligible couples.

The payments are tax-free—not means tested—and will keep pace with inflation.

Payments under the Income Support Bonus, which commenced in March 2013, help households cope with unexpected costs like urgent repairs on the family car or essential appliances, medical expenses, bills that are higher than expected and other emergencies.

The Income Support Bonus is in addition to Labor’s $300 million Budget announcement to support disadvantaged Australians into work including an increase to the income free area and extending education and training support.

Tony Abbott’s announcement tonight confirms more than 1 million Australians would lose hundreds of dollars a year under a Liberal government.

The Liberals are reverting to the politics of division and have millions of low-paid Australians in their sights.