Families to feel a extra stings

PRIME Minister Tony Abbott described it as a budget that inflicts “pain with a purpose”, but for Tamworth families battling the spiralling cost of living, that purpose is hard to swallow.

West Tamworth single mum Louise Mulligan said while she was still digesting the fine details of last night’s federal budget, the scrapping of the schoolkids bonus, a rise in fuel excise and an extra sting for doctor’s visits were all “big negatives”.

BUDGET PAIN: Tamworth single mum Louise Mulligan, with daughters Bianca, 9, and Indy, 7, says last night’s budget had little joy for her family. Photo: Barry Smith 130514BSB02

BUDGET PAIN: Tamworth single mum Louise Mulligan, with daughters Bianca, 9, and Indy, 7, says last night’s budget had little joy for her family. Photo: Barry Smith 130514BSB02

Ms Mulligan, an educator with Tamworth Family Day Care Scheme, said the cost of electricity, groceries and other necessities meant every dollar was precious.

“We seem to be paying more for everything and it’s just getting harder and harder,” Ms Mulligan said.

“It already costs me $200 to fill my car and it’s already so expensive when my kids are sick, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like now.”

She said the axing of the schoolkids bonus, which contributed $800 annually to her household coffers, was a particularly bitter blow.

“I used to pay for things like school uniforms and stationery,” she said.

“Now I’m going to have to find that money somewhere else.”

Tighter eligibility for family tax benefits, including a means test, will also heavily impact on a number of local families.

Ms Mulligan described the new Paid Parental Leave scheme as a “waste of money”.

“Those billions of dollars should be siphoned into childcare to make it more accessible for ordinary people,” she said.

“They should also be spending money on teaching parents to be better parents, rather than just throwing money at them.”

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