A Budget of missed opportunity for the Southside

08 May 2018

This was Budget afforded the Turnbull government with a chance to bring back fairness, and reverse some of the damage done since 2014, Terri Butler said.

"The Turnbull government missed an opportunity to bring fairness back tonight," she said.

"It was a Budget of missed opportunity for the nation and for the Southside.

"It was a Budget that is affected by this government's propensity to fight culture wars. Cutting the ABC is nothing more than a further attempt to pander to Pauline Hanson and One Nation.  

"Worse, it's a Budget that still seeks to spend $80 billion on corporate tax cuts, while finding ways to make pensioners, families, and students pay.

"The Budget has confirmed that Mr Turnbull is cutting the energy supplement, costing pensioners $14 a fortnight, and forcing people to keep working until they are 70. 

"The Turnbull government is also still cutting $17 billion from schools, and has $270 million in new cuts to TAFE.

"The latter is particularly outrageous after last year's Budget cuts to vocational education. 

"In tonight's Budget, there's a freeze on the rebate for specialists. That will be passed on to patients. Out-of-pocket costs are already excessive. 

"The electorate of Griffith has Queensland's fourth-highest out-of-pocket costs for specialist visits, at $79.16 on average. People need relief, not a further imposition.

"Funding just 14,000 new in-home aged care packages over four years is another failure. Funding is being cut from residential aged care to pay for this measure. There are still 100,000 people on the Turnbull government’s waiting list for in-home care.  

"A Shorten Labor Government will make different budgetary choices. 

"We will improve schools, fix hospitals and save Medicare. We will make university more accessible, guarantee the future of TAFE and put local jobs first. We will deliver genuine tax relief for working Australians, protect pensioners and improve the budget bottom line," she said.

TUESDAY, 8 May 2018