Leaders discuss budget

DISCUSSION: The meeting with community leaders in Bendigo. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

DISCUSSION: The meeting with community leaders in Bendigo. Picture: CONTRIBUTED

SHADOW Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation Brendan O’Connor met with Bendigo community leaders on Wednesday to discuss the forecast impact of the Federal Budget.

Mr O'Connor said analysis of the "horror Budget" had confirmed the most vulnerable would bear the brunt of "the government’s twisted priorities".

"I'd like to thank Lisa Chesters, the Member for Bendigo, for inviting me here to talk to community groups about the real concerns they have with the Budget that's been announced by the government last week," Mr O'Connor said.

"The changes to Medicare, forcing people to pay to see a doctor, we think will lead to decisions made by people not to bring their kids or themselves to a doctor when they're sick.

"We're also concerned about the cuts to the family tax benefits for families who are struggling.

"The petrol tax for families is a cruel blow for people having real difficulties making those decisions of where they take their kids, or even if they're just travelling to work.

"There's also the blow to unemployed job seekers - young people under the age of 30, who are going to face real difficulties keeping their accommodation, finding enough money to eat, because of the measure that will remove unemployment benefits for six months.

"What does the government think these young people are going to live on?

"How are they going to eat?"

Member for Bendigo Lisa Chesters said she would be going to Canberra to fight the changes.

Ms Chesters said groups represented at the meeting with Mr O’Connor included Haven; Home, Safe and Bendigo Community Health, The Salvation Army and other health and welfare agencies.

Brendan O’Connor

Brendan O’Connor

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