Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters MP, said that this is a budget for millionaires and multinationals. The Liberal Government only cares about the top end of town.
“Last night’s budget confirmed that the Liberal Government is choosing not to prioritise Central Victorian local schools, hospitals, workers and their families."
“This Budget fails the jobs test with unemployment set to rise. There is nothing in this budget to secure or create new jobs in Bendigo and Central Victoria."
“The only people who will see better days from this Budget are big business and the well-off. Someone on a million dollars will pay $16,400 less tax this year, while someone earning $65,000 will pay $325 more tax in two years’ time."
"The Federal Government cuts to education are just wrong. Cuts to La Trobe University, Bendigo TAFE and school funding in the 2017 budget to pay for a $50 billion big business tax cut is simply out of touch with community expectations."
“I'm also really shocked that the Liberals are attacking the most vulnerable in our community with punitive and cruel measures that will cause more pain and hurt to individuals and families who most need our compassion, support and understanding."
“This is not the Australia we want."
"At the same time, the government is also sacking 1200 DHS and Centrelink staff. So, expect longer phone and processing wait times."
“Like previous Federal budgets, this year’s will look after the top end of town by favouring the residents and businesses of inner city Melbourne and Sydney, rather than the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria."
“When it comes to the big ticket budget items, all the local announcement are old money repackaged and renamed."
"Last night's budget is a missed opportunity to invest and create good secure jobs across the Bendigo electorate."
“I am sure that Liberal and National MPs and Senators will try and tell us otherwise. But we’re not fools, and this Federal budget is another shocker!”
On Medicare: the freeze does not end for all Medicare services
“The Government is lifting the Medicare Rebate freeze for GPs and specialist consultations but patients will have to wait until July 2018 and until July 2019 for specialist procedures and allied health services."
"These changes will help but it is unlikely to see a drop in out of pocket experiences."
"It is vital for central Victorians that the Medicare Rebate is unfrozen to ALL Medicare Rebate services address the sky-rocketing costs of health care."
"Malcolm Turnbull needs to reverse these attacks on Medicare which are seeing bulk billing drop and forcing residents in the Bendigo electorate pay more.”
On social security and welfare support: cruel and nasty bully boy tactics
"The Federal Government's attitude towards the most vulnerable is just disgraceful. These Australians need our compassion, understanding and support – not cruel attacks by a Government that just doesn't care."
The Government is also:
• Increasing the pension age to 70 – meaning that Australia will have the oldest pension age in the developed world.
• Axing the Energy Supplement to new pensioners, people with disability, carers and Newstart recipients – this will mean a cut of $14.10 per fortnight to single pensioners or $365 a year. Couple pensioners will be $21.20 a fortnight worse off or around $550 a year worse off.
• Imposing new cuts to Family Tax Benefits – a cut that will leave around 100,000 Australian families worse off.
On school funding: Bendigo schools miss out (again)
“Gonski 2.0 is not the original Gonski needs-based funding."
“Only a fraction of the school needs-based funding that was cut from the 2014 and 2015 Federal budgets has been restored. This will negatively affect our local Catholic, independent and state schools."
“For example, Bendigo Senior Secondary College should have seen a funding increase of $1.6 million in 2018 under Labor’s Gonski funding model. Under Gonski 2.0, BSSC will only receive an extra $265,800 in funding.”
On big businesses: tax cut for big businesses and multinationals
“The Government remains committed to its $50 billion tax handout for big business while increasing taxes to every Australian earning over $21,655.”
On early childhood education: long-term funding commitment for the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
“The Government missed another opportunity to put preschool and kindergarten programs on a sustainable, long-term footing. Committing to funding for a further 12 months is just a joke."
“I am very concerned about the impact this ongoing uncertainty puts on central Victorian parents, children and service providers. The Government should step in and commit to funding Universal Access beyond the end of next year.”