Rate rise just the start of Abbott Government’s effect

The Federal Government’s cuts to local and state government could mean hefty rate rises and changes to seniors’ concessions, Lisa Chesters MP warns.

Ms Chesters said she was concerned that federal government’s cuts to local and state government funding would severely effect Bendigo and central Victorians, especially age pensioners.

“The City of Greater Bendigo Council is considering putting up rates by six per cent this year. I am concerned future rate rises could be higher.

“It is understandable that the council is considering this rise considering federal government assistance has been frozen in Tony Abbott and the Liberals’ first Budget.

“The Federal Government is pushing more and more responsibility onto local councils.

“This is made worse by the uncertainty surrounding seniors’ concessions, which includes discounts on rates, electricity bills and public transport.

“The Victorian Liberal Government need to clarify whether it will commit the extra funds to maintain seniors' concessions for council rates, as it means hundreds of dollars a year in savings for pensioners.”

Ms Chesters said it was clear that the Abbott Government did not care for senior citizens.

“The Abbott Government made the decision to abolish the Seniors Supplement from June 1 this year and make the Seniors Health Card harder to qualify for,” she said.

“All of this is just making things harder and harder for age pensioners, who are already doing it tough.

“Tony Abbott and his Liberal Government do not care nor understand the needs of senior citizens or age pensioners.”