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Mike Kelly - This Budget Fails The Fairness Test For Eden-Monaro

In his media release today member for Eden Monaro Mike Kelly says that this budget has failed the fairness test. "This is an unfair budget that gives big business and the banks an $80 billion tax handout and makes the people of Eden-Monaro pay for it with cuts.

The $270 million cut to TAFE will create further havoc locally for employers who are already struggling to find skilled employees in our region.

"Confirmation in the budget of the $17billion school cuts by Malcolm Turnbull has locked in huge education cuts to pay for big business tax handouts, which will negatively impact students in Eden-Monaro.

"With only one infrastructure commitment in this budget, Eden-Monaro has been neglected." Sadly the one commitment of $100 million for the Barton Highway, can be spent anytime between now and 2026 and is not for duplication. Key infrastructure pieces, such as a linking road between the Port of Eden and the Monaro Highway have been completely overlooked.

More than 1200 Centrelink staff will be cut from offices across the country and will create more havoc for people who need their services. Already my electorate office provides much-needed assistance to constituents who have had to wait too long hear from Centrelink about their payments.

Disappointingly, this budget is only providing an extra 14,000 home care packages over four years, when 100,000 people are on waiting lists. That won’t go anywhere near meeting the needs of older residents in Eden-Monaro where people are struggling to survive while they endlessly wait for a care package.

This budget fails on the fairness test on hospitals, Turnbull’s cuts mean residents in Eden-Monaro will be stuck on hospital waiting lists for longer.

On the eve of the 2013 election the Liberals promised ‘no cuts to the ABC’, yet on top of the $254 million in cuts they have imposed since 2014, this Budget contains a further $127 million in cuts. The ABC has already admitted that more cuts cannot be absorbed by efficiency measures alone, which may mean that the ABC services in rural and regional Australia will suffer.

The fact that government will continue with its ruinous decentralisation policy is a testament to the fact that the Liberals and Nationals seem to have forgotten the importance of our Nation’s Capital, not just for the local area but for thousands of small business in South Eastern NSW that economically depend on Canberra’s population. What is worse is that many of the jobs and agencies being reallocated are moving to larger cities such as Adelaide and Perth, not small regional towns as promised.

This budget is like every other Liberal budget – it has failed the fairness test."

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