Macarthur MP Russell Matheson has praised his Liberal colleagues, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and treasurer Scott Morrison, for putting youth unemployment high on the agenda of the 2016 budget.
However, Labor’s candidate for the seat, Dr Michael Freelander,criticised the government for neglecting the health of those with lower incomes.
The government’s $840 million youth unemployment package aims to help up to 120,000 Australians under the age of 25, transition into the work force.
It includessix weeks of intensive training andinternships that last up to 12 weeks andpay $200 a fortnight.
Employees are also eligible for a “hire bonus” ofup to $10,000 over six months.
It was a big win for the growing region Mr Matheson said.
“Our region is a growing community and we need to be able to provide jobs for residents,” he said.
“I always receive enquiries (from constituents) about youth unemployment.”
Dr Freelander,said he was pleased superannuation cuts that capcontributions to tax-free accounts at $1.6 million, meant the “high end” of town would have to pay more of its fair share.
Though he said that would not help those with lower incomesforced to pay more for medical treatment after the government extended the Medicare rebate freeze to general practitionersfor another two years.
“It means more doctors willbe forced out of bulk billing,” he said.
“People are going to have to pay more for health services and it will put more pressure on emergency departments.
“It will be more expensive for families to access health care.”
Mr Matheson said the Liberal government was just “continuing Labor’s policy that it introduced” in 2012.
“Their theory was doctors earn enough money,” he said.
“They are arguing about something they introduced.
“If there’s any deficiencies with health care we will fix them.”
About $115 million was also earmarked to be spent towards Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek and the infrastructure surrounding it.
Mr Matheson said the Prime Minister would not allow “one plane to fly in or out of the airport” until all the infrastructure was in place.
But Dr Freelander said the $115 million was only a drop in the ocean.
“It’s not a lot of money in the overall scheme of things,” he said.
“With transport links from Leppington, Penrith and Badgerys Creek, it will cost billions not millions.
“(The $115 million) is not enough.”
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