It has been a rewarding week in the nation’s capital with the Government handing down the 2019 Federal Budget. The Budget is testament to the Liberal National Government’s commitment to economic growth. After more than a decade of deficits, this Budget forecasts a surplus of $7.1 billion in 2019-20. I’m pleased there are significant wins for the Parkes electorate including:
• Immediate tax relief of up to $1,080 for low and middle income earners to ease cost of living pressures. Taxpayers earning up to $126,000 a year will receive a tax cut.
• A boost for small businesses with an increase to the Instant Asset Write Off from $25,000 to $30,000, which is now also available to businesses with a higher turnover.
• Support for farmers with $6.3 billion in assistance and concessional loans, including the $5 billion Future Drought Fund, plus incentives for on-farm biodiversity.
• Major investments in our roads, including a $2.2 billion Road Safety Package.
• A record $104 billion healthcare spend – youth mental health and suicide prevention, and fast tracking the National Rural Generalist Pathway for better access to doctors and shorter waiting times for rural and regional communities.
• Better education – needs-based funding, more support for Indigenous students, and removal of HELP debt for teachers spending four or more years in very remote areas.
The Budget balances the books, helps to create more jobs, delivers lower taxes, and guarantees the essential services like schools, hospitals and roads. Under a Coalition Government, the economy will always be stronger.
Home care pricing
Following extensive consultation, the Coalition Government has finalised new legislation that requires home care providers to publish their pricing information in a new standardised schedule on the My Aged Care website by 1 July 2019. This addresses concerns I have discussed with some of my constituents recently.
The new schedule will help seniors to understand and compare service offerings and prices across home care providers, and make informed decisions about which provider is best placed to deliver their care.
The greater transparency will also address the concerns raised about high administration prices being charged by some home care providers. Providers can publish their pricing information within the schedule from this month, with compliance required by 1 July 2019.
Applications for the Indigenous Apprentices Program (IAP) are now open, providing opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to start a career in the public service. The program is seeking 300 individuals to take up entry-level positions within a range of agencies including the Department of Human Services (DHS).
Boosting Indigenous employment rates is a key priority for the Coalition Government, which established the IAP in 2014 to provide a clear pathway into the public sector for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
At the end of the 12-month training program, apprentices graduate with a full-time position and a nationally recognised certificate or diploma. Since the program began, more than 1,000 people have taken up full-time positions.
Applications close on 7 May 2019 and can be lodged online at humanservices.gov.au/IAP. Further information is also available by calling 1300 856 993.