House debates

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Governor-General's Speech


1:48 pm

Photo of Tony ZappiaTony Zappia (Makin, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Manufacturing) Share this | Hansard source

The Turnbull government's first budget, handed down on Tuesday night, was a shallow attempt to win over swinging voters at the next election. More disappointingly, it was a budget that continued the harsh cuts for low income Australians who are already struggling. It was a budget where the devil was actually in the detail—a budget where pensioners, the unemployed, veterans, low-income families and the sick will all pay more for the tax cuts that higher-income earners and businesses are expected to get. In my own electorate of Makin, 84 per cent of income earners will not get any of those tax cuts that were announced.

This is a budget that maintains $29 billion of cuts to education, over $50 billion of cuts to health expenditure, the freezing of the GP Medicare payments—and, as my colleague just said, the bringing back of a $14 GP tax—a billion dollars of cuts to aged-care providers, 20 per cent funding cuts to universities and cuts to family tax benefits. A couple on a single income of $65,000 with three children in primary school will be over $3,000 worse off and will receive no tax cut at all. This is a budget where the national debt will continue to grow. But, even worse, it is a budget where the gap between the rich and the poor will continue to widen.


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