FEDERAL BUDGET PUTS BIG BUSINESS BEFORE CENTRAL VICTORIANS

Tonight the Liberal Federal Government Budget has failed the fairness test and puts big business before Central Victorian workers and pensioners.

This unfair budget gives big business and the banks an $80 billion tax handout and makes Central Victorians pay for it with savage cuts.

Ms Chesters has said it has failed the fairness test on pensioners as Malcolm Turnbull is cutting the energy supplement, costing pensioners $14 a fortnight, and forcing people to keep working until they are 70.

“It fails the fairness test on education - Turnbull is still cutting close to $16million from Bendigo schools in 2018-19, and has $270 million in new cuts to TAFE.

“It’s unbelievable that any Government would cut TAFE funding and I am concerned about the impact these cuts will have on Bendigo TAFE.

“The budget also accelerates the privatisation of DHS & Centrelink by cutting 1280 jobs and this could include direct job losses in Bendigo.

“It also fails the fairness test on Medicare – Turnbull’s freeze on the rebate for specialists means Australians will pay even more when they visit the doctor,’ said Ms Chesters.

A survey conducted last year of GP clinics across Bendigo found that the average out of pocket cost was $21.

“People in Bendigo are particularly vulnerable to the Government’s Medicare attacks, with up to 40% of respondents saying they are delaying or avoiding seeing the doctor because of the spiralling cost.

“Any budget that gives a handout to big business but hurts pensioners is a bad budget,’ said Ms Chesters.

Labor will back the personal income tax measures that begin on July 1 this year, however, it is not enough to help low income households make ends meet.

“We know middle class and working class people are struggling with the cost of living – this is overdue relief, but it doesn’t make up for Turnbull’s cost of living increases and cuts to penalty rates,’ said Ms Chesters.

Funding for just 14,000 new in-home aged care packages over four years is another hoax, with funding being cut from residential aged care to pay for it.

“It’s just outrageous that the Liberal Government is proposing cuts to residential aged care.

“I’m very concerned that these funding cuts will put pressure on Central Victorian services and could force some to close.

“After five years of the Liberals – health care costs more, housing costs more, education costs more and energy costs more.

“Every budget is about choices. Yet again, Turnbull has chosen the top end of town – and he’s making Central Victorians pay for it.

“A Shorten Labor Government will make different choices,’ said Ms Chesters.