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The Federal Budget has a continued focus on creating new jobs, investing in better infrastructure, delivering essential services and helping families with the cost of living, according to Gippsland MP Darren Chester.

The budget includes increased funding for aged care services, helping elderly Gippslanders to stay in their own homes longer.

Mr Chester said many Gippslanders would benefit from income tax cuts as the government’s plan for a stronger economy delivered results.

“The highlight is $132 million to complete duplication of the Princes Highway between Sale and Traralgon, which will create a safer and more productive road, and help to attract visitors to our region,” Mr Chester said.

“This budget is all about delivering local jobs and creating a stronger economy by living within our means, so we can keep on delivering essential services and infrastructure in regional areas like Gippsland.

“As a government, the only way we can continue to fund these services, and to pay for improved community infrastructure, is to have a strong budget bottom line – and the Treasurer has achieved this.”

Mr Chester welcomed low and middle-income tax cuts, with stage one to be delivered by an additional targeted tax offset through annual tax returns.

Also, the budget includes changes to the pension work bonus to allow older Australians to work more hours without reducing pension payments.

“The Federal Budget includes funding for 14,000 more home-care packages to help elderly Australians stay in their own home longer rather than moving into an aged care home,” Mr Chester said.

“This will be particularly good for residents in smaller towns across Gippsland where we have many elderly community members who prefer to be in their home, near to family, in the neighborhood that has been their home for many years.”

Mr Chester said once a surplus was delivered, funding currently used to pay interest on government loans could be redirected into more money for health and community services and important community infrastructure.

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