Budget has the Wrong Priorities

Yesterday was Malcolm Turnbull’s last chance to fix five years of unfairness – and he failed.

This unfair budget gives big business and the banks an $80 billion tax hand out, and makes Australians pay for it with savage cuts.

Budgets are about choices and it’s clear that Turnbull’s Liberals have chosen big business and the banks over ordinary Australians.

Education – Malcolm Turnbull talks a big game about innovation although continues to cut $17 billion from schools, $2.2 billion from our Universities and has callously cut $3 billion from TAFE and training including $270 million more in this budget making it even harder for WA’s unemployed youth to find work.

Health – In their budget the Liberals continue to prove that they cannot be trusted with our public health system, refusing to reverse their $715 million cuts to public hospitals, failing to unfreeze the Medicare rebate and will not fix the private health insurance affordability crisis.

Infrastructure – I’m glad to see that the Federal Government is now adopting Labor’s policy to fund the Armadale Line extension through to Byford in the budget, though, there is no doubt that just like with the duplication of Armadale Road, the Federal Government would never have made their commitment if Labor had not committed to this project first.

Pensioners – Turnbull isn’t only making life hard for working families his government has chosen to increase the pension age to 70 and slash the pension through the removal of the energy supplement costing pensioners $14 a fortnight.

Any budget that gives a handout to big business but hurts pensioners is a bad budget.

Aged Care – The Turnbull government’s aged care package is a cruel hoax, promising older Australians they would address the crisis and instead cutting billions from residential aged care funding and increasing the queue for aged care homes with over 100,000 older Australians waiting over a year to simply find a place. This is made worse by the Liberals cutting $1.5 billion from the aged care workforce.

GST - Scott Morrison has continued to write his fiction after being quoted on the front page of the West Australian with a thought bubble of addressing WA’s ailing share of GST although has failed to act after 5 years of government.

Labor will back back the personal income tax measure that begin on July 1 this year, and we’ll have more to say in the future about how else we’ll help working people.

We know working and middle class people are struggling with the cost of living and this relief is overdue but this doesn’t make up for Turnbull’s cost of living increases and cuts to penalty rates.

Majority of this package is off in the never never – it’s a hoax for Mr Turnbull to tell people they have to vote for him at least two more time before they receive tax relief in 2024.

The Liberals in their budget have chosen to give big business and the banks $80 billion and have given working and middle income Australians the equivalent of the cost of a cheeseburger or milkshake in income tax cuts. These are the wrong priorities for our country.

Every budget is about choices. Yet again, Turnbull has chosen the top end of town – and he’s making Australians pay for it.

A Shorten Labor Government will make different choices.

We will improve our schools, fix our 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 pensioner and improve the budget bottom line.