Sharon Bird and Stephen Jones have branded the Budget a short-sighted attempt to save Tony Abbott’s job.
The fundamental unfairness of last year’s Budget of broken promises remains but in addition to that it features more tax, more debt and higher unemployment.
Sharon Bird said that the Abbott Government has once again ignored the Illawarra in the Budget.
“Last year we lost our Local Employment Coordinator, there were massive cuts to skills programs and apprentices and Joe Hockey axed $50 million in seed funding for the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link.
“In Government, Labor invested over $865 million in funding to support jobs, growth and investment in the Illawarra. This included $135 million in capital works for the University of Wollongong, $13 million in new infrastructure and equipment at TAFE and a record investment of $99.3 million in new facilities for local schools.
“We also provided the $140 million BlueScope Steel Adjustment Package to support the workers and help transform our local economy and committed to $75 million in funding for the Maldon Dombarton Rail Link.
“In contrast, the Abbott Government has brought down a Budget with absolutely no regional investment – no funding for the Maldon-Dombarton Rail Link, no investment for the University of Wollongong, no money for local schools and TAFEs.
“We should be investing in infrastructure, skills and training to drive participation, productivity and build a stronger regional economy. Unfortunately this budget is short-sighted and completely ignores the needs of the Illawarra.”
Stephen Jones said that the Budget would again punish those who could least afford it.
“The Government has made a shallow attempt to walk away from the cruel cuts of the 2014-15 Budget. But despite Joe Hockey’s spin, the fundamental unfairness of last year’s Budget disaster remains.
“Their small business package, whilst welcome, is an open acknowledgment that they have smashed consumer confidence.
“On top of that, Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey still want to introduce $100,000 university degrees, $80 billion has still been axed from hospitals and schools and cuts to family payments remain.
“Labor has offered more than $20 billion of savings over ten years by making sure that multinational companies pay their fair share of tax and reducing unaffordable superannuation tax concessions. But instead of focussing on policies such as this, the Government is focussed on itself.
“This Budget is not about Australia’s future, it is all about Tony Abbott’s future.”
WEDNESDAY, 13 MAY