Hartsuyker wades into the debate

MEMBER for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, is outraged at the government's proposed scrapping of carer's annual bonuses, calling the move 'a callous razor gang cut'.

The annual bonus of $1600 is made up of $1000 paid to carer payment recipients and $600 to carer allowance recipients.

Mr Hartsuyker said the collective work of carers saves taxpayers millions every year.

"The government needs to recognise the great work carers do looking after their loved ones and the sacrifices that they make," Mr Hartsuyker said.

"Scrapping the carer's bonus at a time when our nation is prosperous is simply unimaginable."

The government has tried to quell a rising tide of speculation about whether the May budget will include cuts to the carer's bonus.

"The budget is in preparation and it will be announced on budget night," Deputy Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, said.

But the Opposition want Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to clarify his statement and guarantee the carer's bonus will be paid.

Carers Association national president, Pamela Webster, said she hopes carers will emerge better off, with the bonus to become permanent and a greatly increased carers allowance.

"We're certainly hoping there'll be a greater recognition of the role of carers," Ms Webster said.

It is estimated that three million Australians work in the carer industry.



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