Family faces pain

Pinched: Cecil Park's Simon Grima says his family will be affected by the federal budget. Here he is with wife Therese and children Stephanie, 17, Vanessa, 15, and Andrew, 11.Picture: Simon Bennett

Pinched: Cecil Park's Simon Grima says his family will be affected by the federal budget. Here he is with wife Therese and children Stephanie, 17, Vanessa, 15, and Andrew, 11.Picture: Simon Bennett

PLANS to increase petrol prices on August 1 have already had a detrimental effect on one Bonnyrigg business owner and his family.

Cecil Park's Simon Grima, who owns Bonnyrigg Tyres and Mechanical, said following the announcement of the fuel price rise in the budget last week that his business had instantly slowed.

"We're really quiet at the moment because people are panicked about the hike in petrol prices," he said.

"Fuel is very important — especially in Fairfield because everyone needs a car to get around — so we're really concerned about what will happen from August 1."

The father-of-three, 42, was also worried about the government's plan to raise the pension age to 70 by 2035.

He said people who had physical jobs, such as his, could not work to that age.

"There's no way I could work to 70, not even to 60, because being a motor mechanic involves a lot of physical work.

"It's pretty unfair. The government should've left the pension age as it is."

But if that wasn't enough pain, it was also announced last Tuesday night that universities will be able to set their own tuition fees from 2016.

Mr Grima's daughter Stephanie, 17, starts her law degree at university next year and will have five years of study left after the measure is implemented.

His other daughter Vanessa, 15, will also have to bear the brunt of hefty fees if she decides to go to university in 2016.

"It's going to cost so much money, not only for us but for others who want to study and better their education," he said. "It's already hard to make ends meet. It's only going to get worse."

Mr Grima said while his family rarely visited the doctor he didn't agree with the government's $7 Medicare co-payment and $5 prescription fee which come into effect from July next year.

"Some people go to the doctor and find there's nothing wrong with them, yet they will have to pay $7 for the visit," he said.

"No one should be forced to pay that. That $7 can go a long way for people who are doing it really tough.

"You know, you can buy two packets of Panadol with that money."

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