Budget Offers No Plan For Higgins, More Debt and a Carbon Tax

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Kelly O’Dwyer MP, Member for Higgins said the Budget is a major disappointment for residents of Higgins.

“This year’s Budget demonstrates no plan to build a stronger economy, repay debt or create secure jobs”, said Ms O’Dwyer MP.

“It’s a confused budget. All it delivers is more borrowing, more taxes, record debt – and the world’s biggest carbon tax.”

The Economy:

Ms O’Dwyer MP said five days before the last election, Julia Gillard promised “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” and this year’s Budget 2012 is Australia’s first carbon tax Budget.

“The world’s biggest carbon tax is about to hit families, jobs and investment at the world’s worst time.”

“The carbon tax will act as a wrecking ball across the local economy and we will all be paying for it through increased prices, higher energy bills and pressure on local businesses.”

Ms O’Dwyer MP said she was also concerned about the government’s announcement that it will seek to increase Australia’s debt ceiling to a record $300 billion – four times higher than it was in 2008.

“This is another increase in our nation’s credit card limit. We will see net government debt climb to a record in 2013-14. That is an increase of almost $40 billion since last year’s Budget.”

“And by 2015-16, the government will be spending over $8 billion a year or around $22 million a day on interest payments alone. This interest payment could fully fund the NDIS.”

“We are now paying the price for Labor’s four record deficits which together total $174 billion.”

Ms O’Dwyer MP said he was concerned that the Budget papers forecast a rise in unemployment to 5.5 per cent.

“Last year’s Budget promised 500,000 new jobs over two years, but the Government now expects to miss its target by 300,000 jobs.

Private Health Insurance Rebate:

Julia Gillard has previously committed that “for all Australians who wanted to have private health insurance, the private health insurance rebate would have remained under a Labor Government. I gave an iron-clad guarantee of that during the election. The difference between Tony “rock solid, iron-clad” Abbott and me is that when I make an “iron-clad commitment”, I actually intend on keeping it.” That “iron-clad commitment” was thrown out the window this Budget.

The Government has ripped out $746 million in 2012-13 and a further $2.4 billion over the following three years from the Health Department that would have otherwise have funded the Private Health Insurance Rebates.

According an independent report these measures will put more pressure on the local hospital system as an estimated 1.6 million people drop their private hospital cover and another 4.3 million Australians downgrade their coverage over coming years.

Gonksi Review:

After spending months and months and valuable tax payer funds conducting the Gonski Review, the Government has decided to spend only $5.8 million over two years in response.

The review concluded that an additional $5 billion a year was needed to implement its recommendations.

“The Government has completely ignored the review shows its complete lack of intention of implementing any of its recommendations. It is now clear that Julia Gillard’s Private School hit list is back in her sights.”

Ms O’Dwyer MP said “Higgins residents want a government that can deliver an economic strategy to build a stronger Australia, reduce cost of living pressures and create secure jobs.

“Instead they have a government mired in chaos and a Prime Minister with no Judgement. Only a Coalition Government can restore hope, reward and opportunity for all Australians.”