The Federal Government sure has delivered on its promise of a jobs, infrastructure and business budget. And middle-class Australians who still have a job will be delighted with the stage two personal income tax cuts.
But, again, the Government has forgotten that we live in a society and an environment, and not just in an economy. It simply beggars belief that it’s spending hundreds of billions of dollars in additional Budget measures and still there is no financial certainty for the unemployed, no lift in the paltry disability and carers payments, no resolution of the housing crisis, and no big boost for health and education. Older Australians in particular have been abandoned, with no solutions for older unemployed nor improvement in the Age Pension.
Moreover, dealing with climate change should have been a top priority but this budget continues the Federal Government’s dangerous obsession with gas.
Nor is this a good budget for Tasmania, because we have the most disadvantaged community of any state so any budget that ignores disadvantage ignores Tasmania. Yes the State will enjoy some good road funding, including in the Greater Hobart area with money for the Sorell corridor, airport roadworks and the Tasman Bridge. But there is an abundance of other critical infrastructure that is still unfunded, for example the Antarctic precinct at Macquarie Point, Hobart Northern Suburbs Light Rail and the Hobart Aquatic Centre. Arts, tertiary education and science and research are all very important to Tasmania but are largely overlooked again.
In any case, the Tasmanian Government has a terrible track record of delivering infrastructure, so it urgently needs to lift its game and deliver the projects that have been funded or risk losing the federal contribution.
The Morrison Government’s message to Australians is that it’s got your back. Well yes there are some good measures in this budget. But the truth is the Federal Government’s blown this once in a hundred-year opportunity to create a much fairer Australia.