House debates

Wednesday, 3 April 2019



9:31 am

Photo of Chris BowenChris Bowen (McMahon, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Treasurer) Share this | Hansard source

I am grateful to the Deputy Leader of the Opposition. You could put post-it notes on it; you could have post-it note updates to the budget as well; that's another way of dealing with it. The other budget blowout is the cost of pulping the budget. That is going to cost a bit of money. Down the shredder it will go; there will be no shredder in Canberra left turned off over the next 24 hours as they shred the budget and start again! In all seriousness, this says it all about this budget. I confess to the House that I was ready, in my media performances last night and today, to say that there might be some good things in this budget, there might be some changes in this budget, but this won't mean that Australians forget the six years of cuts and chaos. I confess that I had to change my response. I can't say that anymore, because this budget is about cuts and chaos. This budget is about chaos writ large!

Here we have a government which is so chaotic that they have, as the centrepiece of their budget, the energy supplement. This is their big message to Australians: 'We've learnt the lessons. No more cuts under us; no more chaos under us. We've learnt it all; we're all fixed. We're better people than that bad Abbott and that bad Turnbull! Just forget about them.' So chaotic are they that they bugger up the cuts; so chaotic are they that they can't get it right.

Really, Australia deserves better than this. Australia deserves a government which has actually thought about its policies. Australia deserves a government which has a plan for the country. Australia deserves a government which actually recognises that we need to lift people up, that we need to bring people with us on the 27 years of uninterrupted economic growth. We actually need to support those Australians doing it tough, including Australians on Newstart and other payments. We actually need a government for which Australians doing it tough are not an afterthought.

And there's another afterthought in this budget. It's not just about the energy supplement; there's another problem in this budget. What's their other big pitch? 'Oh, we've got double tax cuts,' they say, 'We finally acknowledged that the Labor Party was right 12 months ago when the Leader of the Opposition announced bigger, better tax cuts in his budget reply.' They've caught up with us on bigger, better tax cuts. We welcome that, 326 days too late—


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