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NSW snubbed by Abbott government budget, local communities hit

Media Release
Lee Rhiannon 13 May 2015

Australian Greens Senator for NSW Lee Rhiannon has said the Abbott government has kept many of the harsh and unfair elements of the 2014 budget and has failed to deliver a credible economic plan to create jobs and invest in public services in NSW.

"Cuts of $2 billion to health care will hit NSW hard. Funding cuts will make it harder for our public hospitals to meet increasing demand," said Senator Rhiannon.

"Included in the cuts to health are cuts to preventative health research, chronic disease prevention and rural outreach.

"The government has absolutely snubbed NSW when it comes to much need public transport infrastructure to get the state moving.

"Tony Abbott is throwing billions of dollars to new motorways, including the WestConnex, without a full business case being released. This funding should immediately be redirected towards public transport services.

"In terms of jobs, the budget fails to address the key economic challenges facing Australia. In fact the budget papers show graduate employment rates are projected to decline, meaning more people struggling to find full-time work.

"Considerable tightening of welfare and pension support will hit those in the community less well-off and the elderly.

"The biggest savings in the budget target those receiving welfare - stricter social security asset tests, tighter access to paid parental leave, and policing welfare payments.

"Students and their families are still in the firing line as the Abbott government's elitist plan for $100,000 degrees and billions of dollars of cuts to universities has been retained in the 2015 budget.

"The government's plan to rip $260 million out of research funding will mean staff cuts and will have a negative impact on research outputs.

"Slashing $100 million out of the Australia Council for the Arts, which is based in Sydney, is an incredibly short sighted and disappointing way to run cultural policy.

"Instead of raising much needed revenue to fund a more caring, equitable and just society, the Abbott government have again delivered a cruel budget," said Senator Rhiannon. 

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