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Federal budget 2023: Jobseeker boost will bring $1.8 million per year into Murray Bridge
But federal MP Tony Pasin says the budget has failed to deliver for regional communities.
An extra $1.8 million per year will come into the Murray Bridge community as a result of payment increases included in this week’s federal budget.
On Tuesday night, Treasurer Jim Chalmers announced pension increases that will affect many Australians, including locals.
The rate of Jobseeker, Youth Allowance and several other payments will increase by $40 per fortnight from September 20.
In addition, eligibility for a higher Jobseeker rate for long-term recipients will be expanded to everyone aged 55 and over.
According to the Department of Human Services, at least 1760 people in the Murray Bridge district receive one of the above benefits.
An extra $40 per fortnight means each recipient will receive around $1040 extra per year, which will amount to more than $1.8 million dollars extra per year coming into the community.
However, the amount pales next to the temporary $550-per-fortnight boost recipients received during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Budget ‘fails to deliver’ for regions, federal MP says
According to Member for Barker Tony Pasin, however, the budget missed the mark for regional communities.
“It is not a budget that is fair for all Australians, least of all those living in our regions,” he said.
He criticised what he said were cuts to infrastructure spending.
“Across Barker, local communities are worse off under this budget, with the Labor government’s refusal to continue funding though programs such as the Stronger Communities Program, Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and the Regional Airports Program,” he said.
He also voiced concern about Labor’s introduction of two new taxes that he claimed would hurt the regional economy and increase the cost of food for every household: “a new food and fibre tax on farmers to pay for … biosecurity measures and an increase to the tax paid by our trucking industry with a 5.2 cents per litre increase in the heavy vehicle road user charge”.
Read more: www.tonypasin.com/budget-2023-24.
What does the government say about the budget?
Senator Marielle Smith said the budget would provide cost of living relief to people in Murray Bridge through cheaper child care and medicine, more incentives for doctors to bulk-bill, and a $500 rebate for people’s energy bills, or $650 for businesses.
“I know that this will make a real difference in household budgets,” she said.
Federal Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government Minister Catherine King said the budget would support regional Australians generally.
The government’s Regional Investment Framework would establish a regional development forum so that regional people could make decisions about matters that affected them.
Putting $72.4 million into professional development for early childhood educators would benefit regional Australians, she said.
The $8.6 million Australian Skills Guarantee would create opportunities for women to work on major government projects in regional Australia over the next four years.
From July 1, a Regional First Home Buyer Guarantee would become available to any two eligible buyers, not just married and de facto couples; and to anyone who hadn’t owned a property in the past 10 years.
Spending on natural disaster readiness – including up to $200 million per year on risk-reduction projects, $236 million over 10 years to improve flood forecasting, and $238 million on an emergency response capacity for Services Australia – would also help, alongside other measures.
Read more: minister.infrastructure.gov.au.
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