Posted on 03. May, 2012 in News
The Baillieu Government’s second State Budget will increase the cost of living for Victorian families, Shadow Minister for the Cost of Living Lily D’Ambrosio said today. Ms D’Ambrosio said the Baillieu Government had clearly abandoned its election promise to reduce cost of living pressures.
“In last year’s Budget Speech, the Treasurer Kim Wells devoted a whole section to cost of living. This year, Mr Wells did not mention ‘cost of living’ once,” Ms D’Ambrosio said.
“Clearly, the Baillieu Government no longer cares about the thousands of households across Victoria facing the daily challenges of paying ever increasing bills.
“In fact, new Budget initiatives will actually make things worse.”
Ms D’Ambrosio said the following budget cuts and initiatives would place further strain on Victorian household budgets:
· Stripping back the Education Maintenance Allowance and removing the program from schools to provide help to needy kids. For example, breakfast clubs, and to help cover costs for excursions;
· Ripping $100 million in annual funding for TAFEs that provide Victorians of all ages to up-skill in a volatile employment environment;
· Scrapping the First Home Buyers Scheme that provided financial assistance for families keen to purchase their first home;
· Cutting $9.4 million for free financial counselling services that helped families in hardship balance household budgets.
· Abolishing the School Start Bonus. This program provided $300 grants to help parents cover school costs for prep and year 7 students;
· Scrapping $3.3 million for additional Kindergarten Inclusion Support Service placements to support children with high and complex needs; and
· Increased motor vehicle registration by $35 and more speeding fines. The Government will reap an extra $70 million a year from speeding fine revenue, an increase of almost 20 per cent.
Ms D’Ambrosio said Victorian households were paying for a Government that had no idea and no vision.
“With no relief in this year’s Baillieu Budget, Victorian families are beginning to realise the Government they voted for is very different from the one they have now”.