The federal leader of the Palmer United Party and Member for Fairfax, Clive Palmer, has called on the Abbott government to stop plans to cut welfare payments to orphans of soldiers killed or badly injured during service.
The Coalition has vowed to end the Veterans’ Children Education Scheme and Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act Education and Training Scheme as soon as it repeals the mining tax.
Under these schemes, about 1240 children have been paid an income support bonus of $211 a year following the death or incapacity of a parent who has served with the military overseas. Among the recipients are children aged under 16 who are homeless.
Mr Palmer said the Coalition plan needlessly persecuted young children and he warned the Palmer United Party would not support the repeal of the mining tax if the orphan payments were cut.
“The government can exempt these orphans from pay cuts if it wants to,” Mr Palmer said.
“The Palmer United Party supports the repeal of the mining taxes but it must be done in the best interests of Australia.
“Repealing the payment of welfare benefits to the innocent children of deceased or injured veterans isn’t in the best interests of the nation and we hope the government will see sense.
“If a person has made sacrifices for their country it’s an absolute disgrace for a government to attack their children.
“If the Abbott government doesn’t take this measure out then we won’t support the abolition of the mining tax in the Senate.”