Western Sydney low and middle income families are squarely targeted by one of the most vicious budgets in living memory, said Chifley MP Ed Husic.
“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.”
The rise in fuel tax would have one of the biggest impacts locally, according to Mr Husic.
A 13 year freeze on the fuel tax at 38.1% has ended with Treasurer Joe Hockey announcing the Abbott Government is whacking motorists with an increase they simply can’t afford.
“Motorists struggle as it is now to pay upwards of $1.60 a litre for fuel. Increasing the excise on fuel will only heap further pressure on household budgets,” Mr Husic said.
“There will be a double sting in the tail with this fuel tax increase - as rising fuel costs drives up prices of goods and services, this will then trigger a lift in the fuel tax.”
Joe Hockey created the myth of a budget emergency so the Government could carve up family budgets in our area.
“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 Abbott government’s broad sweeping changes to healthcare were likened to “backyard hatchet job”
“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.
The Abbott-Hockey Budget measures that will hit Western Sydney families hard include;
- Increasing the fuel tax excise twice yearly from this August.
- Reintroduction of tolls on sections of the M4 Motorway that have already been paid off – used to fund the construction of the NSW Government’s Westconnex.
- A lower threshold (to $50,000) for University loans and a demand they be paid back more quickly, now 2% of a graduate’s salary.
- Tightening eligibility for the Health Supplement Card for Seniors.