The 2016 Federal Budget has been condemned for putting the interests of big business over battlers.
Richmond MP Justine Elliott, Page hopeful, Labor’s Janelle Saffin, and the Greens candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker, all condemned the Budget, saying everyday Australians were the big losers.
But their views were obviously not shared by Page MP Kevin Hogan, who said the Budget ‘was great news for our community, local small businesses, job seekers and families’.
The tax cut for our over 10,000 local small businesses, which already employs tens of thousands of people, will help them grow and create even more jobs.
‘I’m also happy that the Government is targeting tax avoidance by multi-national corporations to make sure everyone pays their fair share of tax here in Australia. This will raise nearly $4 billion over the next four years,’ Mr Hogan said.
‘This budget will help young people in our community into work and create a career path for them through Skills Training and a Voluntary Internship, while being supported with the Youth Bonus Subsidy.
‘There is more money to fix our local roads, more money to replace our local aging wooden bridges.
‘We are also increasing funding for schools to $4.1 billion, an increase of 25 per cent over the next four years.
‘The Government is doing what it can to attract more GP’s to the Northern Rivers with a new grants program and will invest $1.7 billion to provide dental services in regional and rural areas.
‘I’m glad to see an additional $298.2 million over four years will be used to continue the battle against Ice, something I have been lobbying for since I organised a community Ice forum in Lismore.
But Richmond’s Labor MP Justine Elliott said the Budget was clearly aimed at high-income earners.
‘This is a Budget that puts big business before everyday locals and puts high income earners before families, with tax cuts for millionaires but no tax cuts for locals earning under $80,000,’ Ms Elliott said.
She said the Budget included cuts to schools, Medicare, a GP tax by stealth and tax breaks for banks and multinationals.
‘Individuals who earn the most will get a double tax cut – someone on $1,000,000 will get a $16,715 tax cut while three quarters of Australian taxpayers receive absolutely nothing.
‘A couple with a single income of $65,000 with three children in primary school are $3,034 worse off a year – and receive no tax cuts.
‘A single mother with an income of $87,000 with two children in high school is $4,463 worse off per year.’
Labor’s candidate for Page, Janelle Saffin, said the Budget was obviously skewed to those not in need.
‘This Budget is not good news for the North Coast,’ she said.
‘There are tax breaks for people earning more than $87,000 but the medium income in Casino for example is about $32, 392.
‘There is no Gonski funding for schools, and there are cuts to Medicare and health funding.
‘It’s obvious that National Party members like Kevin Hogan are missing in action and letting the city Liberals dominate the Budget.’
The Greens candidate for Richmond Dawn Walker also also the Budget, describing it as a ‘massive let-down to the people of Richmond’.
‘The government is pretending it can afford unsustainable and unfair tax cuts for the big end of town by claiming unrealistic levels of economic growth,’ she said.
‘Yet these irresponsible cuts come at the expense of long-term funding for our local schools, hospitals and public services.
‘The government has made life harder for our community by cutting social support, university funding and health services at a time our region can ill afford more cuts.
‘It’s groundhog day where, just like Tony Abbott, Malcolm Turnbull is taking the axe to the young, the old, the sick and the poor while handing out tax cuts to high income earners and big business.
‘The government has unfairly ripped $6 billion out of universities, welfare, Medicare and the public sector while giving more than $12 billion in tax cuts and tax breaks to business, high income earners and the super wealthy.
‘Shamefully, the Treasurer failed to mention global warming once. His speech had no plan to deal with the single greatest challenge facing our economy: the transition to clean energy that would power the new economy.
‘The government has failed to see the local jobs of the 21st century in building solar farms and public transport. Jobs that our young people could take advantage of in our region.
‘Most disturbingly, while subsidies continue to flow to the fossil fuel industry, more than a billion dollars is being ripped out of clean energy.
‘This Budget needed to show some vision and courage to tackle the major challenges of the 21st century. Instead we got more cuts to essential services, a ramping up of defence spending and a deafening silence on global warming.’