In his Budget of twisted priorities, Tony Abbott is telling young people in Hunter: You’re on your own.

Joel Fitzgibbon said that’s the message the Abbott Government has sent young Australians looking for work with its savage cut of $1.2 billion to income support for people under 30. From 1 January next year, jobseekers under 30 in Hunter who need Newstart and Youth Allowance will be forced to wait six months before receiving any support.

“What will they live on if they can’t find a job?” Joel Fitzgibbon said.

“This cruel Budget risks the yield of a new generation of young people stuck in a vicious poverty cycle.”

Joel Fitzgibbon said young people under 25 in Hunter will be shifted from Newstart onto the lower Youth Allowance, making them $48 a week worse off. “The Government is forcing young people into a life of poverty at the very time that they need support the most,” he said. “Labor is committed to ensuring young people find work through support, training, work experience and incentives. Cutting their income support will not help them get into work or education or training. “The Prime Minister has completely deserted young Australians looking for work in Hunter.” In a shocking example of twisted priorities, a worker on $200,000 who pays the high income deficit tax, will pay $400 a year, while an unemployed 24-year-old will lose almost $2500 a year.

Joel Fitzgibbon said this Budget hits already vulnerable young people in Hunter the hardest. “To make matters worse, under the Abbott Government’s Budget young, low income earners in Hunter will bear the brunt, with support for low income earners maliciously slashed and skills and training hit by a $1 billion cut. “This is bad government with bad intentions,” Joel Fitzgibbon said.

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