Senate debates

Wednesday, 30 March 2022



1:34 pm

Photo of Karen GroganKaren Grogan (SA, Australian Labor Party) Share this | | Hansard source

The budget that we saw handed down last night is not a serious plan for the future; it's just a six-month sugar hit, followed by continuing wage stagnation, $3 billion in hidden cuts, and a series of diluted projects and extended delivery times buried deep in those papers. Wages are going backwards, and the government should be ashamed of the smoke and mirrors that have been put forward in this budget, and the rhetoric told to the people without an understanding or clarity that the sugar hits are going to end. It is short-term. It is short-sighted. This is not going to help people in this country. This is not going to provide the structural change and support that we need to bolster wages and to let people build for the future. These challenging sugar hits are bribery of the Australian public.

But let's be really clear. Australians are not stupid. They are very, very aware of what is going on here. They know they cannot trust the hollow promises of this government. You only have to look over the last nine years to see that. They said wages would grow; they didn't. They said that they would introduce a national anticorruption commission; that didn't happen, and we are 1,200 days on from that promise. In the budget papers last night, there was a big zero, in black and white, for the anticorruption commission. And if there's anyone that needs an anticorruption commission, it is this government.