The Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie said families in Bendigo are paying a high price for Labor’s budget mismanagement.
“The Gillard Government has used the release of the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook as yet another chance to tax local families to pay for the government’s reckless waste and spending.
“Families are still recovering from their first electricity and gas bills under the carbon tax.
“The latest tax changes mean Bendigo families will pay more for private health insurance, pay more for having a baby and pay more for management of self-managed superannuation funds – all to fund Labor’s reckless spending sprees.
Senator McKenzie said the budget update is yet another example of a government without an economic strategy, and which always puts its own political survival ahead of the national interest.
“The Gillard Cabinet does not feature anyone from regional Australia, so it means our values are not properly represented.
“It’s hard for regional families to have confidence when the government continues to increase taxes making it more difficult to get ahead.
“The indexation of the Private Health Insurance rebate will raise over $1 billion and result in higher premiums for the more than 56,000 Bendigo residents with private health cover.
“The changes to the Baby Bonus will mean having a baby will become more expensive, at a time when families need all the assistance they can get with the rising cost of living.
“Labor is also raiding superannuation to bolster their Budget bottom line. Over half of the Government’s promised surplus in 2012-13 will be achieved through ripping even more money out of the superannuation system.
“There are approximately 7,200 registered businesses in Bendigo and the introduction of monthly PAYG tax for companies will make managing cash-flow more difficult, at a time when job creation is more important than ever.”
Senator McKenzie said regional communities will also struggle to finance growth opportunities, following Labor’s $2 billion freeze on regional development grants.
“This is another example of regional communities bearing the brunt of Labor’s cuts.”
Senator McKenzie said that under Labor, the only certainty is more taxes and more pain for regional Victorian families and businesses.