Scrapping baby bonus 'will stop so many teenage mums'

THE axing of Peter Costello's baby bonus has been one of the most contentious elements of the 2013 Federal Budget handed down by Treasurer Wayne Swan.

News of the scrapping of the bonus, which was released ahead of the budget, sparked a flurry of comments on APN-run Facebook sites.

Colleen Downes said the baby bonus should never have been introduced in the first place.

"Maybe now kids will stay in school, instead of pushing prams with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth and bub with no footwear or hat, she said.

Carolina Lang agreed: "This is awesome news Baby bonus should have been done away with ages ago. Too many teenage girls with five kids hanging off them today.''

Kira Skelhorn said she was happy to admit she liked the baby bonus.

"So much of hubby's wage goes to tax it's nice to get a little something back from the government when you need it most considering all they usually do for the working people of this country is take, take, take,'' she wrote.

But Jacinta Bartels said it was "rubbish they are giving billions to defense yet they take it from young families''.

Other baby bonus comments on Facebook

Jacin Tattersall: I can't wait for the federal election so we can say goodbye to these Labor twats.

Rhys RandomGuy Hackett: I'm glad the baby bonus has been scrapped... if you can't afford to have kids don't bloody have them

Cassie Farrow:  It be nice if they would not take all the benefits away. I get taking some away but the past six months I have felt the hit. Be nice to get something.

Vanessa Gishford: To raise an average Australian family you are looking at just over 1 million dollars.  Now I'm pretty sure that most people can work out that a few thousand you will get for each child hardly compensates for the huge costs the child will incur for many many years.

Maybe the increased number of young single mums could partly be attributed to the fact that there are alot more sexually active kids these days than ever before. They are also starting alot younger than ever before.

Slipper welcomes education funds but disappointed by highway failure

Former Speaker and Sunshine Coast MP Peter Slipper welcomed funding for important areas for the Sunshine Coast in areas of education and infrastructure.

"I am pleased with the funding announcement on infrastructure particularly concerning the Bruce Highway but wait to welcome a further announcement on upgrading the Bruce Highway between Caboolture and the Sunshine Coast from four lanes to six," Mr Slipper said.

"I am disappointed the baby bonus has been scrapped and that the budget is not in surplus but again in a deficit.

"I am also disappointed on the adverse impact on middle income families who lose out from the budget.''

Fairfax reports that the average family will be $20 a week worse off under the budget.

"While I welcome education spending it is important that while extra funding is allocated to Government schools that non-Government schools continue to be treated as equitably as under Howard government.

"I am also concerned residents will be slugged a further $960 million by axing the net medical expenses tax offset, paid to Australians with high out-of-pocket expenses for health care and medicines.

"The Treasurer has crafted a difficult budget in difficult times but I am disappointed that there will be a $19.4 billion dollar deficit.''

Newstart changes 'cold comfort' for unemployed, particularly seniors

THE Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association said changes to Newstart were cold comfort for most unemployed, especially those between 50 and 64.

"Although relaxation of the income test is welcomed, age discrimination continues to be a barrier to employment for older people and the changes in this budget do nothing to assist those who simply cannot get a job,'' CPSA senior policy advisor Amelia Christie said in a statement.

"Not increasing Newstart by $50 per week is counterproductive, because it forces people to deplete their savings, including superannuation, to put food on the table and pay the rent."

Age pensioner downsizing trial

"While the downsizing trial for Age Pensioners is laudable, it's unlikely to encourage many pensioners to sell the family home and move into a smaller dwelling."

"Pensioners welcome steps to make downsizing easier, but the 25-year home-owning rule is unnecessarily harsh and will exclude many because they've bought their house in their 40s or 50s."

"The restrictions on accessing money in the means-test-exempt fund will also discourage take-up of the offer because pensioners will be penalised for withdrawing money to pay for essential services like medical care."

"Stamp duty still acts as a major disincentive to downsizing. Pensioners living in the ACT will act as a litmus test in this trial, because the ACT exempts older people from paying stamp duty. The other states and territories should follow suit."

Disability Care

"Pensioners support the Disability Care Scheme, which stands to finally address the long-neglected area of supports for people with disability. Yet, it continues to be discriminatory against people who have acquired a non-age-related disability after the age of 65."

"Disability Care should not have an age cap. Someone who has a fall at 66 and acquires a disability typically ends up getting inappropriate care in a nursing home.

"There is broad consensus that nursing homes are not an appropriate place for people with disabilities.

"Another question is: what happens once the Age Pension age rises to 67? Will the Disability Care age cap rise, too?"


"The superannuation changes made in this budget are minor and the Government has missed an opportunity to make structural reform to the superannuation system so that it is fairer and more sustainable."

"Average superannuation balances are around $70,000 for men and $40,000 for women."

"Despite the Government spending $30 billion last year on superannuation, the vast majority of Australians will not have enough super to fund even a modest lifestyle in retirement and will rely on the Age Pension as their main retirement income." 

Aged Care

"The aged care reforms announced last year did nothing to address poor quality care in nursing homes, so it's disappointing that care quality has not featured in this year's budget."

"The Living Longer Living Better aged care reforms stand to save the Australian Government $560 million over the next five years because it increases care recipients' fees."

"Older people will pay more for their care, but they won't necessarily get better care, because the funding is not tied to improving care quality."

Expansion of Breast Cancer Screening program

"CPSA applauds the Australian Government's decision to extend mammogram notifications under the BreastScreen program to women aged between 70 and 74."

"This is a simple reform, but one that will have huge benefits for older women."

"The downside is that its extension won't start until 2016. The reform should be moved forward to 2013 to help save women's lives sooner rather than later."

Advance Care Directives and eHealth records

"Pensioners welcome the $10 million announcement to include advance care directives on eHealth records."

"This measure will improve the ability of people to have control over their healthcare. This is so important for people in aged care who may not be in a position to express their wishes for their treatment."