Last night's Federal Budget

By Terri Butler MP

12 May 2021

Well, the Liberal National government’s eighth Budget has now been handed down, and I’m sorry to say it is yet another marketing exercise. 

After eight long years of this government our community deserves more than a shameless political fix. We deserve the genuine reform needed to make Australia’s economy stronger, broader, and more sustainable.

And it's disappointing to see some of the detail, including that:

  • despite spending almost $100 billion and racking up a record $1 trillion in debt, the Morrison Government’s Budget reveals real wages will go backwards; and
  • Australians on modest incomes will only receive a temporary tax break before the election and be dealt a tax hike after it.

Because we're in a pandemic, the issues of vaccine and quarantine affect both public health and the economic recovery.

Last night, and again in Question Time today, it was clear that Mr Morrison and Mr Frydenberg won’t tell Australians when they will be vaccinated, haven’t secured more vaccines, haven’t come clean on the cost and risk of delay, and are failing to deliver fit-for-purpose quarantine facilities.

But that’s far from the only concern:

  • despite all the pre-Budget hype, there will actually be a $3.3 billion cut to infrastructure spending over four years;
  • in our state, half of the Morrison government’s newly announced infrastructure funding will not actually get out the door within the next four years; and 
  • in an extraordinary omission, no new funding for Closing the Gap was included in the Morrison government’s budget.

Where there is a focus on employment, that is very welcome. But after the Liberals and Nationals’ last Budget centrepiece ‘JobMaker’ created just 1,000 of the 450,000 jobs promised, Australians can’t believe any jobs promised in this Budget.

And as I said to you last night, it’s not the announcements in this Budget that matter, it’s the Government delivering on them.

After eight long years of job insecurity, weak wages growth, neglect, and waste, this Budget is another missed opportunity to invest in Australians, their jobs and their future.

The Budget Reply

I’m looking forward to hearing Anthony Albanese’s Budget Reply tomorrow night. As the alternative Prime Minister, he will be spelling out Labor’s vision for the nation.

Do you want to talk about the Budget?

I’m holding a post-Budget online debrief next week at 6 pm on Thursday, 20 May. If you want to participate, you can register your interest here: