Please explain

I NOTICED that in the May 20 issue of The Daily Examiner the Nationals candidate in the Page electorate, Kevin Hogan, stated: "We will also ensure that tax cuts and fortnightly pension and benefit increases are kept".   Mr Hogan is silent on his leader's May 16 budget reply undertaking recorded in the House of Representatives' Hansard: "Tonight, I confirm that we won't continue the twice a year supplementary allowance to people on benefits".   Now this benefit is worth $210 a year to eligible single people and $350 to couples and is paid to those receiving Abstudy Living Allowance, Austudy, Exceptional Circumstances Payment, Newstart Allowance, Parenting Payment, Sickness Allowance, Special Benefit, Transitional Farm Family Payment and Youth Allowance.   In the Page electorate alone this would mean an estimated 10,000 people on these Centrelink benefits would receive less money if an Abbott government is elected in September.   A conservative estimate based on NSW North Coast demographics would see 40,000 people lose out [www.humanservices.gov .au,electorate data]. No wonder Mr. Hogan is avoiding the issue.   Perhaps he also might like to explain why a Coalition staffer in Canberra happily informed me that in addition an Abbott government would remove an annual income supplement to be paid to families eligible for Family Tax Benefit.   Don't remember seeing that mentioned in the budget reply.   JUDITH M. MELVILLE, Yamba


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