Lisa Chesters MP is expecting this year’s Federal Budget to mirror previous Liberal Government budgets.
“We should prepare for more cruel cuts and pain,” Ms Chesters said. “The Government will look to blame Government spending for the shocking state our national accounts are in.
“I suspect that 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, I think we will find that Bendigo and Central Victorian workers, businesses and their families will miss out (again).”
Ms Chesters said the Liberal’s priorities were big businesses and millionaires.
“Pre-budget leaks have already confirmed that the Liberal Government is choosing not to prioritise our local schools, hospitals, workers and their families.
“Earlier last week, the Liberals confirmed they will cut university, TAFE and school funding in the 2017 budget to pay for a $50 billion big business tax cut.
“I fear Tuesday's budget will attack young people, pensioners, families and the most vulnerable in our community. This is not the Australia we want.
“In fact, from what has already been leaked to the media, it appears that the people of Bendigo and Central Victoria will be completely overlooked by Malcolm Turnbull and the Coalition Government.
“I think we will see a lot of rebranding of old money. Be prepared for lots of spin and rhetoric.
“I am sure that Liberal and National MPs and Senators will try and tell us otherwise. But we’re not fools, and I think that Tuesday night's Federal budget will be another shocker!”
On Medicare: the freeze needs to end
“It is vital for central Victorians that the Medicare Rebate is unfrozen to 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: expect further cuts
"I believe the Federal Government will announce a reintroduction of their "zombie" welfare cuts to pensioners, families, Newstart recipients and young people.
“These cruel cuts continue to fail to pass the Senate because they force far too many into poverty."
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.”
On small businesses: another example of smoke and mirrors
“The Federal Government has already announced changes to the definition of what is a ‘small business’. The Government proposes to change the definition of small business to include businesses with a turnover of up to one billion dollars.
“Only a Liberal Government would consider a turnover of one billion dollars a 'small business' and offer them the same tax rates as real small businesses. What a joke!”
On Bendigo’s Chinese dragons: challenge to the Government
“I challenged the Federal Government last week to fund Sun Loong’s restoration and the purchase of a new imperial dragon in next week’s budget.
“The Government needs to help keep this Bendigo icon alive. The dragons not only have a special place in the Bendigo community, but also hold cultural significance for Australia.”
On early childhood education: long-term funding commitment for the Universal Access to Early Childhood Education
“The Government cannot miss another opportunity to put preschool and kindergarten programs on a sustainable, long-term footing.
“I am very concerned the 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.”