Tasmanian Senator Jacquie Lambie has made a tearful plea to parliament after the government passed legislation on family welfare overnight.
Lambie spoke through tears as she criticised the move that will see family tax benefit payments frozen for two years, amounting to $1.38 billion in savings, reports The Australian.
“I want you to know, that’s what it’s like to be at the bottom of the crap pile through no fault of our own for many of us,” Senator Lambie said.
“For you to take more money off those people, you have no idea how bloody tough it is. Every little cent counts to those people. What you are doing is shameful.”
While the government said the freeze did not amount to a cut, Lambie disagreed saying she didn’t “give a stuff” about their assurances.
She described how she drove her car unregistered and without a licence because she couldn’t afford the fees with she was a single mum raising her two children.
The government passed the legislation after striking a deal with Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and the Nick Xenophon team. The move will see savings of nearly $2 billion over four years and will scrap the planned $20 increase to families.
Families on a duel income of $50,000 with two children in primary school will reportedly miss out on around $3 extra a week. However, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said the freeze did not amount to a cut.
“No family will actually receive less as a result of the changes before us today. They will receive the same level of payment,” he told the Senate. “Many of them will receive higher payments.”
In her speech, Labmie told the minister not to “spin it” saying even small cuts make a huge difference to struggling families.