The Rudd government has delivered to the Australian people a Budget that is horrific because it is a Budget that destroys dreams, Family First Leader, Senator Steve Fielding said today.

“This Budget of Broken Dreams is a Budget that sends a loud and clear message to Australians that they are better off not having a dream for themselves or their families,” Senator Fielding said.

“However, tucked away in this Budget is a little gift for the Prime Minister. A boost to the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet of $13 million and an injection of 60 staff.

“At a time when Australians are told to cut back and make do, this excess by the Prime Minister is obscene.

“This Budget destroys the simple dreams of ordinary Australians:

• of owning a home
• of having a family
• of a secure retirement
• of a fair go for small business

“This is a Budget that shatters the dream of a family for many by squeezing funding for IVF treatment. This Budget at its heart is a tax on mothers because 11,000 babies are born on IVF every year.

“This is a Budget that punishes Australians who want to improve their lot in life. This is a Budget that punishes incentive. It’s a Budget that takes the opposite view of the Australian ethos that if you work hard to build a good life for yourself and your family, you’ll reap your rewards.

“I understand that times are tough but in delivering this tough message, the Rudd government has also delivered a Budget that offers no hope, no incentive and crushes the simple dreams of many Australians to own a home and have a family.

“What this Budget does right is go some way towards fulfilling a promise to Australia’s long suffering pensioners that their dire position will improve. For single pensioners it has, but married pensioners would be better off divorced — that’s the message from the Rudd government as married pensioners get virtually nothing.

“Family First recognises the government’s commitment to providing 18-weeks of paid parental leave but is disappointed this scheme is being delayed until January 2011.

“Cutting the 30 percent health rebate for high-income earners is not going to work if it simply forces more people into an already stressed public system.

“Means testing the health rebate is also an unfair system because it doesn’t take into account how many kids are being supported, where the costs on families can vary significantly.”

Peter Fray

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