The prime minister and his colleagues are out in force selling the budget, as Labor awaits high court decision on Katy Gallagher’s eligibility. All the day’s events, live
Another point of attack against the budget has been the $140m cut to foreign aid.
Labor’s foreign affairs spokeswoman Penny Wong said “the Turnbull Government has continued on its disastrous path of cuts to aid, and lessening influence which can only further weaken Australia’s standing”.
There’s no doubt the economic circumstances since the [global financial crisis] have changed what people hoped they could do. But I will put this general principle about foreign aid: foreign aid is also good politics. We all saw the shock and outrage about discussions between Vanuatu and China about possibly putting a new base in Vanuatu. One of the issues is: it’s not China’s fault or Vanuatu’s fault, but if Australia abandons the region we create a vacuum others will fill. So I just say to some of the people who say foreign aid is a waste of time – it is not only a good thing to do to help people, it’s good [for] strategic foreign relationships.
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A lot of stakeholders have been out criticising the fact the budget has not lifted the Newstart allowance for jobseekers, stuck at about $40 a day for singles.
Senator Tim Storer noted both the Business Council and welfare groups want it lifted because they all recognise “it’s very important for this group to be able to present themselves for work”.
It’s not like disability or aged pension which is entitled to be a substitute for employed income.
It’s a more complex picture than that. The important thing is that they’re looking for work.