Not much break in Budget

Rubyvale mum Renee Tucker and children Lochlan and Courtney were hoping for more mental health funding from the budget.
Rubyvale mum Renee Tucker and children Lochlan and Courtney were hoping for more mental health funding from the budget.

RENEE Tucker is an Aussie battler who does the best she can for her family.

She held her breath on Tuesday night as Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan delivered the 2011 Budget, but was left wanting.

The Rubyvale mother-of-two was hoping for some kind of break from the government to help care for her kids, Courtney, 14, and Lochlan, 5.

“They don’t think and they don’t ask enough questions,” Renee said.

The only joy Renee found was in the Federal Government announcement of more funding for mental health services, particularly for regional areas, to help her care for her two children.

Courtney and Lochlan were both diagnosed with cystic fibrosis last year and require daily physical therapy and medication.

Lochlan was also diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder Asperger syndrome.

Renee is on a carer’s pension, receives a carer’s allowance and works the maximum 20 hours a week in Emerald.

“There are some good benefits in a pension but it’s nowhere near what you need to live,” she said.

She receives $750 a fortnight from the government which, after paying rent and her mortgage from a property that was demolished after the 2008 floods, as well as her family’s medical expenses, leaves her with $100. The $350 she earns from her job goes towards living expenses such as groceries, fuel and school fees.

“I choose to send my daughter to Marist College but I didn’t choose for her to have $12,688 worth of orthodontic works,” she said.

The first budget delivered by the Gillard Government has been met with calls of a class war as Mr Swan announced it would build a “bigger and better trained workforce”.

“The centrepiece of this budget is jobs, jobs, jobs,” he said.

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