Federal Budget — MPs respond

Lindsay MP Fiona Scott welcomed the federal budget.

Lindsay MP Fiona Scott welcomed the federal budget.

There's been a  mixed response since federal treasurer Joe Hockey unveiled his first budget on Tuesday night.

The Budget includes:

*$50 billion in transport investment by 2019-20;

*Creating the world’s biggest medical research endowment fund - the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund.

*Requiring young people who can work to be earning, learning or participating in Work for the Dole;

*Businesses will receive up to $10,000 for employing workers older than 50;

*Funding for additional road infrastructure by reintroducing twice-yearly indexation of fuel to CPI from 1 August 2014;

*Providing Australian universities with the freedom to innovate through full deregulation;

*Reforming the age pension to make it more sustainable by gradually increasing the age pension age to 70 by July 2035;

*Freezing politicians’ pay and ending the life-time gold pass;

*Changing family payments to target support to those who need it most; and 

*A three-year Temporary Budget Repair Levy - payable, from July by individuals with a taxable income above $180,000 at a rate of two per cent. 

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Liberal Lindsay MP Fiona Scott (pictured) said the budget is laying the foundations for a strong and prosperous economy with less debt.

“The Government has made the difficult but necessary decisions to put the Budget on a more sustainable footing so that we can all share in prosperity in the future,'' she said.

“We are all playing a part – because it’s in sharing the load that we lighten the load.

“Labor ran up five record deficits and left $123 billion in future deficits.  If we took no action, debt would have hit $667 billion.  Every month, the government is paying $1 billion in interest costs on Labor’s debt.  

 “Governments, like households, must live within their means.

“The key goal of the Budget is to strengthen the economy – because when you strengthen the economy, small businesses succeed, families have less pressure on them and jobs are created.”

Labor Chifley MP Ed Husic said Western Sydney low and middle income families are squarely targeted by one of the most vicious budgets in living memory.

“People in our area will feel the sting of this Abbott budget - the fuel tax increase, the $7 GP Tax, hikes in the cost of medicines and the cuts to pensions,” Mr Husic said.

“It’s a budget of broken promises and ordinary Australians will be forced to pay the price for it. The most staggering fact to emerge from the budget is that there are over $80bn in funding cuts to schools and hospitals.”

“A country that has three AAA ratings and some of the lowest government debt within advanced economies cannot be said to be suffering a budget emergency.”

“The $7 GP visit tax, the $15bn cut to hospital spending, the lift in the costs of medicine, the cuts to doctors pay to drive them away from bulk billing – this will all combine to drive up health care costs in our area.

“Your health shouldn’t depend on your wealth.  It’s that simple.”

The budget also outlined measures to freeze the Family Tax Benefit schemes for two years and to block unemployment payments for the first six months for people under the age of 30.

“This decision is potential social dynamite in an electorate like Chifley which already suffers from higher than average unemployment.

“On top of those changes, linking pensions to CPI will see pensions decrease, rest assured,” Mr Husic said. 

Labor Greenway MP Michelle Rowland condemned the government for delivering a Budget of broken promises that will hurt our community.

“Before the election, Tony Abbott promised there would be no cuts to health or education, and no changes to the pension,” Ms Rowland said.

“Tony Abbott has broken his promise by cutting over $80 billion in health and education. Tony Abbott also promised no new taxes and no tax increases.

“He has broken his promise by jacking up taxes on petrol, making it more expensive every time local residents fill up their cars.

“The residents of Greenway will be some of the hardest hit by this price hike, because we have one of the highest car commuter rates in all of Sydney.

“He said that addressing cost of living was one of his top priorities, but the Budget slugs residents an extra $7 every time they visit their doctor.

“Greenway has a 97% bulk billing rate, which is one of the highest in Australia.  We are all going to feel the impact of this price hike.

“The people of Greenway have every right to feel betrayed by this Budget of broken promises and twisted priorities.

“Before the election, Tony Abbott also promised there would be no change to pensions, but his Budget will cut pensions and will force Australians to work longer.

“I know many pensioners in our community are already just trying to keep their head above water, but Tony Abbott wants pensioners and families in Greenway to pay for his Budget of broken promises.

Ms Rowland said she would not support the Budget’s attacks on Medicare, the aged pension, and cost of living through the Abbott Government’s fuel tax increase.

 “I made a commitment to the people of Greenway that I would hold the Abbott Government to account”, Ms Rowland said.

 “This Budget of broken promises hurts everyone in Greenway from families to jobseekers, pensioners, and the most vulnerable.

 “But I will be honouring my commitment to reject such fundamental breaches of faith to local residents,” Ms Rowland said.

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