Posted on 03. May, 2012 in News
Premier Ted Baillieu’s second state budget is a horror budget for families and children.
The budget provides no capital funding to expand kindergartens that are bursting at the seams, while it cuts programs that support young children with special needs. Shadow Minister for Children and Young Adults Jenny Mikakos said the Baillieu Government’s razor gang had targeted those who need support the most: families with young children.
“Mr Baillieu’s failure to invest in bigger and better kindergartens is sending Victoria backwards,” she said.
“Victoria’s kindergartens and the young families who rely on these services will be the ones paying the price.
“This failure to invest in kindergartens demonstrates that Mr Baillieu is walking away from his Government’s obligations under the National Partnership Agreement to provide 15 hours a week of kindergarten for all four year olds.
“This lack of investment also fails the Government’s own commitment to undertake the recommendations in the Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children Inquiry Report which recommends investment in expanding kindergartens to help vulnerable families.”
Ms Mikakos said the Baillieu Government axe had also fallen on $29 million worth of early intervention programs including: · $23.9 million for 1000 extra Early Childhood Intervention Services places; · $3.3 million for additional Kindergarten Inclusion Support Service placements to support children with high and complex needs to participate in mainstream kinder programs; and · $1.8 million to provide incentives to practitioners in the early intervention area to upgrade their qualifications post graduate level in early childhood intervention studies.
Shadow Minister for Women, Danielle Green said this Budget had let women down on the issue of family violence.
“Mr Baillieu failed to provide adequate funding for the Government’s forthcoming family violence strategy,” Ms Green said
“Victorian women’s health will also be affected by the axeing of the Victorian Cancer Action Plan, which would have seen breast cancer screening increase by 20,000 tests per year.
“TAFE cuts to hospitality and tourism courses, which encourage large numbers of women to obtain formal qualifications, will make more difficult for women in these sectors to obtain higher paid work.
“Victorians are beginning to realise the Government they voted for is very different from the one they have now.”