Coulton’s Catch-up 14th May
The Gillard Government’s latest Budget failed to deliver a plan for regional Australia. The 2012 Budget lacked funding for vital health and infrastructure projects in rural and regional Australia, and regional road funding is the lowest it has been in a decade. The reality is any cuts that were announced in the Budget this year mean regional Australians are paying the price for this Government’s reckless spending and years of waste and mismanagement.
Despite Treasurer Wayne Swan’s last four Budgets amassing a cumulative deficit of $167 billion, Mr Swan did manage to deliver a contrived $1.5 billion surplus in this year’s Budget. This was achieved through shuffling money, deferring spending and relying on rubbery revenue forecasts. More concerning is the announcement from the Treasurer that they plan on increasing Australia’s debt ceiling to a record $300 billion. This is four times higher than it was in 2008.
Among the Budget books was a statement that the Government will further defer $941 million for water-saving infrastructure in the Murray-Darling Basin. Regional communities across the Basin have been dealt more uncertainty over the viability of their farms and businesses because of this decision. The delay makes it clear the Government has no desire to fix ageing water infrastructure or to deliver water-saving measures through engineering improvements.
The 2012 Budget snapshot:
- the world’s biggest carbon tax
- record net debt of $145 billion
- a record new debt ceiling of $300 billion
- a $26 billion deterioration in the Budget over the past year
- Labor’s fourth massive deficit in four years
- unemployment rate is forecast to increase to 5.5%
- deferring $3 billion in foreign aid funding
- cuts of a further $5.5 billion to Defence
Unfortunately the Budget fails to restore the flat lining confidence of businesses and households. It is clear that the Government has no coherent economic strategy to deliver stronger growth and higher productivity. The Government is more concerned with delivering political outcomes, rather than making the tough decisions needed to manage the economy.
Australians want a government that can deliver an economic strategy that builds a stronger Australia with a broad-based economy, which reduces cost of living pressures and creates secure jobs. The Coalition will restore Australia’s public finances, govern for all Australians, and begin the task so neglected by this Government of re-establishing confidence in all aspects of the nation’s future. This will start by rescinding the Carbon Tax.