North Coast health boost draws praise

Page MP Janelle Saffin.
Page MP Janelle Saffin. Jacklyn Wagner

HEALTH is the big winner for the North Coast in Tuesday night's budget according to Page MP Janelle Saffin.

Wayne Swan announced new funding to allow for breast cancer screening for women aged 70-74, bowel cancer screening for 70-year olds and $18 million for CanTeen which provides support and treatment for young people with cancer.

"Health is a big focus for me," Ms Saffin said. "We all know how many older people we have in the electorate and the key thing is that health funding, including North Coast Medicare Local is secure and continues, so I am pleased about that."

She was also pleased about the long-term funding of the NDIS and Gonski education reforms.

"It fixes up the unequal funding formula and takes away inequity in schools. These are huge reforms that are now funded and locked in," she said.

Ms Saffin however was disappointed the Newstart allowance wasn't increased as she and many others had been lobbying for.

Her rival in Page, National Party candidate Kevin Hogan said he was disappointed the Government didn't match the Coalition's commitment to the Pacific Highway.

"We're happy to keep it at an 80/20 split whereas they want to go back to a 50/50 split with the states which will lead to a fight with the states," he said.

"That's the biggest distinction. There were lots of cuts, which I suppose they have to do but I would argue that if they had not wasted money in the past six years and been a bit more frugal, they would not have to make the cuts."

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