Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said our local community was a winner from this year’s budget with money put back into family budgets, the creation of more jobs and a guarantee of the essential services that we depend on as the Government continues to heavily invest in regional infrastructure.
“The tax relief for low to middle income earners will help ease the financial pressures on families putting more than $500 back in their pockets. With almost 60,000 taxpayers in our community benefiting from this cut, this is great news for families.
“These tax cuts kick in from July 1 this year. The rate will be further reduced over the next seven years with the 37 percent tax bracket axed. This means 94 percent of Australians will pay the 32.5 percent rate and leaving only those earning more than $200,000 paying the top rate of 45 percent.
“Importantly, we are now on track to a balanced budget by 2020. This means we won’t be making our children pay off our debt.
“This has been achieved by encouraging economic growth and job creation. Over the last year we have achieved record jobs growth with 410,000 jobs created – this has meant about 100,000 fewer people are now on welfare.
“The Budget continues to focus on the infrastructure that we need here on the North Coast with almost $1 billion for the much-needed Coffs Harbour Bypass.
“I am happy to see $345 million for the crucial Bridges Renewal Programme and almost $6 million to repair local roads on top of almost $38 million in Financial Assistance to our local councils.
“The injection of a further $200 million to deliver a third round of the Building Better Regions Fund to almost $650 million is also great news for our community. This programme has previously funded the Kyogle Memorial Institute Hall Revitalisation Project and the Woodburn Riverside Precinct.
“These projects are providing wonderful amenities for our community and creating jobs.
“There is also another $22.5 million for the Stronger Communities Programme.
“As an ageing community, I am particularly pleased that we are helping older members of our community stay in their homes longer, adding more than 14,000 in-home care places to a total of 20,000 new places since the last budget.
“The Government is also investing in skills programs for workers over 45 years; allowing people on the Age Pension to keep more of what they earn from part-time work and extending this to those on the pension who are self-employed; extending the Pension Loans Scheme to all people of Age Pension age; and allowing recent retirees to make further superannuation contributions.
“I am also very happy that we are increasing the Child Care Subsidy from around 72 percent to 85 percent to further help family finances. We are also making child care more accessible and affordable by removing the $7,613 annual rebate cap. These changes will directly help the 5,317 families in our community.
“The National Energy Guarantee will also help families by lowering household bills by around $120 a year over the next decade.
“Our schools will also receive an extra $23.5 billion over the next decade. This means funding per student is increasing by around 50 percent over the decade making sure our children get the education they deserve.
“Funding for universities, which is already at a record level of $17.2 billion this year, will grow to $21.1 billion in 2021 – an increase of 23 percent. About $96 million of this is specifically for regional universities.
“Once our students leave school it is important that we have jobs for them so they don’t have to leave the area if they don’t want to. That’s why we are investing $17 million in nine local job creating projects.
“To encourage even more jobs growth, the government is cutting the tax paid by the 18,173 small to medium businesses in our community so they can afford to employ more people.
“It is good to see the Government has also extended the popular Asset Write Off for Small Businesses, which has already benefited more than 1000 of our local businesses.
“As well as maintaining our Medicare Guarantee, public hospitals across NSW will receive almost $40 billion – a funding increase of 29 percent. There is also $550 million to improve rural health by training medical professionals in regional areas like ours.