Skip to content Skip to main navigation

Politics

Sponsored by Chamberlains - complete legal services for business

Hockey’s budget: the bucket list of a Young Liberal

By Andrew Barr - 14 May 2014 53

andrew-barr

Budgets are about choices and the Commonwealth budget delivered last night reflects an economic and social strategy driven purely by ideology – the bucket list of a Young Liberal.

Aptly labeled ‘Black Tuesday’ by my Federal colleague Gai Brodtmann, the budget will cause one of the biggest economic shocks in Canberra’s history – with little additional support to offset the hard cuts to the public service, education and health. The so-called infrastructure budget’ delivers no infrastructure to the ACT. In fact, the number one infrastructure project our business community supports – the Australia Forum-  was specifically knocked back by the Prime Minister. And the Canberra Liberals have the cheek to blame the ACT Government and business community.

The number of public service jobs that will go as a result of this budget is greater than the Liberal Governments previous commitment. The impacts will extend much wider than just to public servants; this will hurt retail workers, tradies, construction workers and small businesses.

The retraction of the Commonwealth Public Service will have a larger and more immediate impact than the automotive industry shutdowns in Victoria and South Australia, or the BHP closure in Newcastle, and without the transitional support that was offered to those states. Schools, hospitals and health services also bear the brunt of budget cuts, with a number of National Partnerships being cut and slower growth of spending in the longer term.

On top of this, Canberrans will also be slapped with higher fuel prices and a sick tax when seeing a GP, forcing more people into our Emergency Departments where the Commonwealth wants State Governments to tax them further.

These cuts are being done in the name of a budget emergency, although it’s not clear that we are in an emergency or mess of debt and deficit. Australia has a stable AAA credit rating. With an underlying cash deficit at 3 per cent of GDP (and falling) the big budget scare is without any basis in fact.  There are longer-term structural challenges that need to be addressed but it seems sensationalist to call the current state of the Budget a crisis.

Everyone will not be sharing the pain of this budget.  The Liberals have already handed back over $3bn of Labor’s structural savings to high-income earners and corporations. The high income earners debt levy is temporary while the cuts faced by pensioners, families, those with a disability and in need of health services, workers, innovative businesses, schools, universities and cultural institutions are permanent.

The Budget is hitting the most vulnerable and it isn’t preparing us for the future.

The cuts will not support economic growth.  The OECD warned that “heavy front loading of fiscal consolidation should be avoided”. The economy is transitioning out of the largest ever resources boom and the Commonwealth Budget plays a key role in managing this transition. Cuts to research, services and local innovation will not encourage sustainable long-term growth. A medical research fund linked to GP co-payments is a form of budget bribery that is rather breath-taking. Cuts to education and higher ed are short sited and will hurt our nations future economic growth.

The Budget bottom line does not mysteriously improve because of policy decisions alone. In addition to policy decisions, the Budget is also influenced by the economic parameter assumptions and forecasts.   And what about tax reform? Rather than encouraging jurisdictions to do the hard work of tax reform – as we have done locally – he is goading the states to beg for GST changes. Closer to the 2016 election, look for Treasurer Hockey to announce a small uplift in Treasury forecasts and estimates for GDP, employment and inflation in the coming years to magically improve the Budget bottom line .

Andrew Barr MLA
Treasurer

What’s Your opinion?


Please login to post your comments
53 Responses to
Hockey’s budget: the bucket list of a Young Liberal
1
Canfan 4:50 pm
14 May 14
#

Note from Editor: RiotACT has contacted all political parties seeking their feedback on the 2014 Budget. Responses will be posted once received.

Report this comment

2
Masquara 4:54 pm
14 May 14
#

Andrew, what is your position on the fuel levy?

Report this comment

3
Codders111 6:33 pm
14 May 14
#

Couldn’t agree more. Good response.

Report this comment

4
Andrew Barr 6:35 pm
14 May 14
#

It is a broken promise. I doubt many people who voted Liberal last year were expecting to get an increased fuel levy. It is a curious budget measure given their desire to abolish carbon pricing. I suspect it will pass the Senate though – the carbon tax you have when you’re not having a carbon tax.

Report this comment

5
HiddenDragon 6:37 pm
14 May 14
#

Well, indeed – and all of this bad news is on top of the already high living costs in Canberra, which will presumably only get worse when we learn of the next round of “it’s only a coffee a day/ week whatever…” increases in the ACT Budget.

Report this comment

6
lumnock 8:06 pm
14 May 14
#

I just popped in to say that I think it’s great to have this sort of thread on the riotact. I hope it leads to a bit more continuous dialogue between local politicians and the public on this site, rather than just pre-election when we all get overwhelmed in one big hit.

Report this comment

7
wildturkeycanoe 8:42 pm
14 May 14
#

Masquara said :

Andrew, what is your position on the fuel levy?

Well obviously Andrew will not be affected one iota by the fuel levy, as politicians get easily over $120,000 per year plus another 70-110% on top. What’s another lazy $20 per week for them? Even then it will be paid back by us as taxpayer funded travel. Who trusts any politician, even when on the other side of the debate, when they all sit in a room and behave like children in a playground arguing over “He said, she said”. All we know from the budget is that those who are borderline on poverty are now pushed into poverty. The numbers don’t lie and if real results about the satisfaction of this budget ever come out, they will be staggeringly in favor of turning time back approximately 9 months and re-doing the whole thing. I would not be surprised how many folks change their mind about the current administration.

Report this comment

8
dungfungus 9:14 pm
14 May 14
#

Andrew Barr said :

It is a broken promise. I doubt many people who voted Liberal last year were expecting to get an increased fuel levy. It is a curious budget measure given their desire to abolish carbon pricing. I suspect it will pass the Senate though – the carbon tax you have when you’re not having a carbon tax.

Federal Labor continuosly broke promises on delivering budget surpluses and no one in the media gives a tinker’s cuss. People who voted for the coaltion voted for the spending and waste to stop and a plan to be enacted to stop the borrowing and repay the debt. An increase in the fuel levy is part of that strategy. No one complained when fuel increased as consequence of the carbon tax.
Our debt to GDP is dangerously high for a country that hardly manufactures anything. In the event of another global downturn when no one wants our minerals what are we going to make to trade out of debt.
All the other countries that defenders of the debt compare us to are giants in manufacturing.
The triple A credit rating will only last as long as one of our creditors asks for some money back and we can’t pay.

Report this comment

9
dungfungus 10:10 pm
14 May 14
#

lumnock said :

I just popped in to say that I think it’s great to have this sort of thread on the riotact. I hope it leads to a bit more continuous dialogue between local politicians and the public on this site, rather than just pre-election when we all get overwhelmed in one big hit.

hear hear!

Report this comment

10
Andrew Barr 10:13 pm
14 May 14
#

WildTurkeyCanoe – everyone will pay the increased fuel levy but you are right that those on lower incomes will feel it more than those on higher incomes.

Dungfungus – you have probably articulated the views of many rusted-on coalition voters but I suspect that there were many people who might have believed the Prime Minister when he said things like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wAHNXdHai0g

Report this comment

11
Walker 10:26 pm
14 May 14
#

Enemies may lose my respect but that’s not to say friends don’t need to earn it.

Let’s see how we navigate, on local issues before during and after the cards dealt. The ones we can’t fight off, at least. Whatever it is, we will still need good local leadership.

That said, yes, these are good points overall and it will be interesting to have this sort of thing on riotact. I wonder how it will go. And I wonder how the nation will go on these things (and plenty of other concerns). Something tells me there’s more afoot this year somehow or other. We’ll see.

Report this comment

12
JC 12:02 am
15 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

Federal Labor continuosly broke promises on delivering budget surpluses and no one in the media gives a tinker’s cuss. People who voted for the coaltion voted for the spending and waste to stop and a plan to be enacted to stop the borrowing and repay the debt. An increase in the fuel levy is part of that strategy. No one complained when fuel increased as consequence of the carbon tax.

Fact, under this budget the Liberals will be spending $415B, which BTW was the exact same amount that Labor had forecast to spend this year. Their revenue projection however revenue will be about $25b less.

So please pray tell how this budget is going to stop borrowing and repay debt?

All this budget is, is a redistribution of money and costs to the total benefit of the big end of town and to the detriment of the average person. Ironically it was votes from the average person, tricked into thinking their was a budget emergency and heaps of government waste that got the Libs over the line at the last election. No doubt Hockey and Abbott have some bribes planned for the 2016/2017 budget to help let these people forget being royally screwed over.

Report this comment

13
Walker 12:10 am
15 May 14
#

dungfungus said :

Andrew Barr said :

It is a broken promise. I doubt many people who voted Liberal last year were expecting to get an increased fuel levy. It is a curious budget measure given their desire to abolish carbon pricing. I suspect it will pass the Senate though – the carbon tax you have when you’re not having a carbon tax.

Federal Labor continuosly broke promises on delivering budget surpluses and no one in the media gives a tinker’s cuss. People who voted for the coaltion voted for the spending and waste to stop and a plan to be enacted to stop the borrowing and repay the debt. An increase in the fuel levy is part of that strategy. No one complained when fuel increased as consequence of the carbon tax.
Our debt to GDP is dangerously high for a country that hardly manufactures anything. In the event of another global downturn when no one wants our minerals what are we going to make to trade out of debt.
All the other countries that defenders of the debt compare us to are giants in manufacturing.
The triple A credit rating will only last as long as one of our creditors asks for some money back and we can’t pay.

To my mind (I’m not all up to scratch on all aspects of economics), some good questions in there. Any takers?

Report this comment

14
justin heywood 12:16 am
15 May 14
#

lumnock said :

I just popped in to say that I think it’s great to have this sort of thread on the riotact. I hope it leads to a bit more continuous dialogue between local politicians and the public on this site, rather than just pre-election when we all get overwhelmed in one big hit.

This budget was something of a free kick for Labor. and you can’t blame the local lads for trying to make some political capital out of it.

But I wonder if Andrew will be so keen to blog on here when the ACT government has to make some tough choices of its own?

I’ll be very surprised if he does.

Report this comment

15
rosscoact 2:26 am
15 May 14
#

IIRC it was Howard that put a cap on the fuel levy because he was copping some flack because the GST had pushed up petrol prices by 10% and the rationale of having a tax on a tax was so weak.

Can somebody with a better memory than mine confirm?

Report this comment

1 2 3 4

Related Articles

CBR Tweets

Sign up to our newsletter

Top
Copyright © 2016 Riot ACT Holdings Pty Ltd. All rights reserved.

Search across the site