PEOPLE will spend more time working for themselves, rather than the government thanks to new tax cuts, New England MP Barnaby Joyce says.
The marquee move from the federal government in this year’s budget was the decision to put $530 back in the wallets of low and middle-income earners in the form of a tax break.
For Mr Joyce’s electorate, it meant more than $30 million would be collectively pocketed by the near-57,000 people earning less than $90,000 a year in New England.
“More and more people were spending more of their week working, not for themselves, just to pay tax,” he told The Leader.
The tax break was met with cynicism online as people told the government to #KeepMy10Dollars and invest their equivalent bonus of $10-per-week into more pressing social issues.
Story continues after tweet
Mr Joyce, a former Deputy Prime Minister and accountant, thought most people would find the extra cash a hard prospect to reject.
“I find people are very reticent to work more for the government,” he said.
“You already work for the government all of Monday and some of Tuesday for the government to send off that money to other people.
“That way it was going you were working all of Monday, Tuesday and some of Wednesday just to send that money to Canberra.”
He said he was working with the minister and the state government to get the project going.
“If we can’t do Dungowan Dam, we’ll have to find something similar to increase water storage,” he said.
“A further expansion of Chaffey has been suggested.”
Story continues after graph
While he was open to other storage options for Tamworth, Dungowan remained the first preference for Mr Joyce, which he said was in a better catchment and was “more water secure”.
“It’s water upstream from Tamworth and it’s in a much wetter catchment area,” he said.
The government also pledged $3.5 billion towards improving “roads of strategic importance”.
The New England MP said the funding pool could be used to help realise his dream of creating better roads to the coast from Tamworth.
“It puts us in a good position to lobby for further funding and make sure the Port Stephens Cutting and the Bucketts Way are improved,” Mr Joyce said.
Story continues after tweet
MORE than half-a-billion dollars has been invested in securing more doctors for regional areas.
The Stronger Rural Health Strategy would create better health access for the New England electorate, MP Barnaby Joyce said.
“This means better qualified GPs, nurses and allied health professionals will have opportunities, through training and other incentives, to live and practice in towns like Merriwa, like Tenterfield, like Tamworth, instead of remaining in cities,” Mr Joyce said.
“Because the evidence tells us when students complete the majority of their training in a regional setting, they are more likely to live locally and practise rurally after graduation.”
The package, to be delivered over the next 10 years, will change the training and supply of rural and regional doctors and will transform medical training in the regions.
Minister for Rural Health, Senator Bridget McKenzie said the streamlining of GP training and qualification arrangements will mean more Australian trained doctors will be where they are needed most.
“This comprehensive strategy directly supports a continuum for doctors to learn, train and ultimately practise in rural and regional Australia, so that when those of you living in the New England need to see a specialist GP, or a mental health specialist, they are there,” Minister McKenzie said.
“We are also strengthening the role of nurses by enhancing their role in frontline service delivery which we know will improve patient care and keep pace with the increasing demand for services in the New England.”
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.