The 2018 Federal Budget was yet another snooze fest for people in the Illawarra, Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones said today.

Like every other Federal Budget it has failed the fairness test, failed the Illawarra.

The Liberal’s Budget delivered a whopping $80 billion tax handout for big business and the big banks but hit schools and hospitals with savage cuts.

The Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link didn’t even rate a mention even though report after report has consistently called for better rail services for the Illawarra. 

Our local road links like Mount Ousley and the Appin Road are under pressure and local Wollongong-Sydney commuter trains are also under pressure.

We need to get serious about progressing the Maldon Dombarton Rail Line.  The Prime Minister has visited the Illawarra several times in the past few months and still doesn’t get the economic importance of the construction of rail links for our region and linking the growth centres in South-western Sydney.  This is critical to our economic development and jobs.

When it comes to aged care, the paltry allocation of an additional 14,000 home care places across Australia was a big blow for the region’s families caring for ageing relatives.

We currently have a home care crisis here in the Illawarra with 950 local families waiting for packages, some for over a year. Our local families will have to compete with the 100,000 families across the country for these 14,000 places.

This puts enormous pressure on families, particularly in a commuting region like the Illawarra.  Many families, including those who commute to work or have other family commitments, are unable to look after their ageing relatives.

Skills, TAFE and apprentices were hit with yet another cut of $270 million – taking the total Abbott/Turnbull cut to well over $3 billion while the old cuts for schools ($17 billion) and universities ($2.2 billion) were locked in.

Old cuts to the energy supplement for pensioners and an increase in the pension age were also locked in.

Pensioners were some of the biggest losers in Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget with plans to rip $14 a fortnight away from single pensioners and an unfair plan to raise the pension age to 70.

Malcolm Turnbull is penalising pensioners so he can give big business a handout.

If you’re a steel worker, a nurse or a local tradie then the prospect of working until 70 is just unfair.

In every Budget, the Liberals have tried to cut the pension.  Now, they want to increase the pension age so that Australia has an older pension age than the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand.

Any Budget that gives a $80 billion handout to big business but hurts middle and working Australians and pensioners is a bad budget.

Turnbull and the Liberals have made their priorities clear – they stand for cuts to health, education and training and a tax handout for the big banks.  They have offered nothing for the people living in the Illawarra.