House debates

Wednesday, 10 May 2023

Constituency Statements


9:59 am

Photo of David GillespieDavid Gillespie (Lyne, National Party) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise on behalf of my constituents in Lyne that watched last night's budget very closely. Overall, it has some good things—I can't say that it's all bad—but, in the macro sense, it's a classic tax-and-spend budget. This government inherited a booming economy coming out of COVID, yet all this extra income ends up with $185 billion more spending. They inherited 3½ per cent unemployment, more people off welfare and in paid jobs, but we have inflation running at alarming rates and our global spending from the government is going up. The one-off sugar hit they received courtesy of the booming economy is being frittered away.

We can see that the gross debt figures projected in the budget are going from 21.6 per cent of GDP to 24.1 per cent. By 2026-27 they'll be spending over a trillion dollars. Gross debt is now $887 billion. If anyone's read ABC Fact Check, they'll realise that a third of the debt that was inherited when this government came into controlling the Treasury benches—it's a third of what we have. Every government has built up debt but the percentage of debt to GDP is what is going in the wrong direction.

As Chris Richardson said, this budget will fuel inflation. Hard decisions had to be made, and structural things that will improve the cost of living aren't there. It's great if you're getting a temporary wage subsidy on your electricity bill that's going through the roof, but none of what we are doing is lowering the cost of electricity. It's putting up electricity prices. This plan is transitioning to a more expensive, more fragile system. You've only got to see the peak pricing that's happened since Liddell closed, with spikes of up to $15,000 for a megawatt hour.

In the cost-of-living relief plan there are some misleading things too. It talks about a 25 per cent reduction in the increase of electricity prices. That's the take-home message. But when you read the details it's 25 basis points, a 0.25 per cent lower rate of increase. So it's saying things will go up but by a quarter of a per cent less, which is hardly an improvement.

There's no mention of roads, rail or bridges. In fact, coming up to the budget we heard that $150 billion worth of (Time expired)