budget bad news for the region

Illawarra MPs Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones and Labor’s candidate for Gilmore Fiona Phillips have warned that Malcolm Turnbull’s Budget is a plan for cuts and unfairness.

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The Budget provides tax cuts for banks and high income earners but cuts services, infrastructure, skills and education.

Sharon Bird said that over 70 per cent of people in Cunningham earn under $75,000 and will not get a tax cut.

“Only the wealthiest people in Cunningham will get a tax cut. The people on the lowest incomes who are struggling the most will miss out. This is a Budget for the rich – a budget that ignores workers. 

“We are a region of high youth unemployment yet there is no investment in training which provides a real pathway to jobs – no new initiatives for apprenticeships and traineeships, no new programs to invest in skills – just more cuts and an inferior internship program.”

Stephen Jones warned that health services had been abandoned by the Coalition in this year’s Budget.

“Last night Scott Morrison announced that the Coalition is extending its GP Tax by the backdoor – the freeze on Medicare rebates – for a further two years to 2020.

“Doctors will be forced to slug their patients with a GP Tax or shut up shop. This will have a particularly harsh impact on communities outside of our major cities where many practices operate on tight margins.

“The Coalition has axed child dental benefits for low income families and they want patients to pay more for x-rays and blood tests. Now they plan extend the Medicare rebate freeze, a move that will see Bulk-Billing rates in the bush fall even further behind our cities.

“Their priorities are all wrong. This Budget has completely ignored the Maldon-Dombarton rail link and three quarters of people will miss out on tax cuts that benefit high-income earners.”

Fiona Phillips said that the Budget had exposed Ann Sudmalis as all talk and no action on local infrastructure.

“Ann Sudmalis has been talking a big game on delivering a new Nowra bridge.

“But all the Budget has delivered is funds set aside for more ‘planning’, something that was already announced last year. They are taking the people of Gilmore for mugs, by wiping the dust off last Budget’s announcement and hoping that no one will notice.

“The Coalition has cut infrastructure spending, they don’t care about rural and regional Australia. I will fight to get the bridge built.”

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