10 May 2023

Last night’s Budget focuses on easing cost-of-living pressures and lays the foundation for a stronger economy and a fairer society. It’s a Budget that delivers for local people.

A centrepiece of the Budget is a $14.6 billion cost-of-living package to help Australians doing it tough.

This includes a record investment in bulk billing incentives to make it cheaper and easier to see a doctor, cheaper medicines, energy bill relief, extending the financial safety net for single parents, renters, JobSeeker and other payment recipients.

An estimated 76,608 people in the Bendigo electorate will benefit from the tripling of the bulk-billing incentive for GPs. This will make it easier and cheaper for people to see a doctor and take the pressure off Bendigo Health’s Emergency Department.

Around 41,837 people in the Bendigo electorate will have the option to buy two months’ worth of medicine for the price of a single prescription for more than 300 common PBS medicines.

The Budget includes $4.9 billion to increase the base rate of several working age and student income support payments like the JobSeeker Payment and Youth Allowance by $40 per fortnight for eligible recipients – this will directly benefit 6,795 people in the Bendigo electorate.

Local people wanting to retrain or go to university will have more opportunity to do so as the Budget also have funding for more free-Tafe courses and extra university places.  There will be 300,000 new Fee-Free TAFE places across Victoria to help to people seeking new skills.

The Budget has been carefully calibrated to take the pressure off the cost of living rather than adding to it. The pressures on the Budget are acute – but as a Labor Government we will always strive to help those who need it most.

It helps people that are doing it tough and makes significant inroads in cleaning up the mess inherited from the Coalition.

Quotes attributable to the Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters:

“This Federal Budget delivers relief to local families and people doing it tough through targeted cost of living relief.

“We know that households are feeling the pressure. I’m proud to be part of a Government that is rebuilding Medicare and primary healthcare. Children, pensioners, and other Commonwealth concession card holders will only need their Medicare card to see their GP. This is great news.

“This Budget is tackling the cost-of-living crisis and providing sensible measures for people in our community during difficult times.”