Federal Budget 2014: Bendigo families hit hard

TREASURER: Joe Hockey in Canberra yesterday. Picture: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

TREASURER: Joe Hockey in Canberra yesterday. Picture: ALEX ELLINGHAUSEN

LATEST: Ronaldson outlines Budget cash for Bendigo region

CENTRAL VICTORIAN JOB LOSSES: 60 staff to go at Mount Macedon facility

RELATED: Read Treasurer Joe Hockey's full speech

COVERAGE: Budget 2014 - a regional overview

REACTION: What people are saying about Budget 2014

WINNERS AND LOSERS: Who won, who lost in Budget 2014. Find out here

AT A GLANCE: Budget 2014 in a nutshell

FEDERAL Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters says the Federal Budget will hit central Victorians hard.

"They're ripping off every pensioner, they're ripping off families, they're making it hard for young people to get an education," Ms Chesters said.

"This is a budget that attacks people on the lowest incomes and rewards those on the highest.

"Tony Abbott will make it harder for families in Bendigo and Victoria to make ends meet."

But Patron Senator for Bendigo Michael Ronaldson said the budget laid the foundations for a strong economy with less debt.

“At the election, the Coalition made the solemn promise to get the budget back under control, as well as scrap the Carbon Tax, end the waste, stop the boats and build the roads of the 21st century," Senator Ronaldson said.

"This budget keeps that pledge. The government has made the difficult but necessary decisions to put the budget on a more sustainable footing so that we can all share in prosperity in the future."

Senator Ronaldson said the budget included Australia’s biggest infrastructure program, with $50 billion in transport investment by 2019-20.

It also includes the world’s biggest medical research endowment fund – the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund, and gives Australian universities the freedom to innovate through full deregulation.

Ms Chesters said the budget kept hitting people without giving anything back.

"The biggest thing that will hit everybody is the new petrol tax," she said.

"Another one is the GP tax. Patients will pay more but doctors will get less."

Ms Chesters is concerned about the uncapping of university fees and cuts to schools and pensions, as well as changes to eligibility for Youth Allowance and Family Tax Benefit B.

She said wins for the region included an upgrade to the Calder Freeway interchange at Ravenswood and funding for the Thales’ Hawkei program.

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