JIM CHALMERS MP
MEMBER FOR RANKIN
SENATOR KATY GALLAGHER
SHADOW MINISTER FOR FINANCE
LABOR SENATOR FOR THE AUSTRALIAN CAPITAL TERRITORY
MORE SPIN, MORE RORTS, MORE OF THE SAME
The mid-year budget update was long on complacency and self-congratulation but short of a plan to deal with the skyrocketing costs of living, stagnant wages, insecure work, skills shortages, or to crack down on rorts and waste.
Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg can’t take credit for the recovery without taking responsibility for the economic carnage that came from their mistakes on vaccines and quarantine.
Pouring billions more of taxpayers’ dollars into secret slush funds shows the Prime Minister and Treasurer have learned absolutely nothing from the public furore over politically-motivated rorts and waste, and that the Liberals and Nationals plan to do more of it in the lead up to the election not less.
They say they’ll fix the Budget after the election, which means if they win there are savage secret cuts to come.
They want you to believe that anything good that happens in the economy is their doing, while everything bad is somebody else’s fault.
Despite the latest print run of glossy pamphlets, the Australian economy is recovering despite the Morrison-Joyce Government, not because of it.
On the eve of an election, after a decade in office characterised by weak wages and insecure work, they want to take credit for jobs growth and wages growth that hasn’t happened yet.
At the Budget they promised hundreds of thousands of jobs, instead 330,000 jobs were shed in two months.
Despite the national skills shortage and a lower unemployment rate, 1.7 million Australians are still searching for work or more hours.
This is a Government notorious for over-promising and under-delivering on wages.
They’ve come up short on 52 of the 55 wages forecasts they’ve released but want us to believe that this time they really mean it.
Even with welcome and unsurprising improvements in the Budget and economic forecasts, the update is still defined by:
- $1 trillion in debt, multiplied before the pandemic, with not enough to show for it;
- Deficits totalling $340 billion, with deficits deteriorating in the third and fourth year and over the medium term;
- $16 billion more set aside in secret slush funds, on top of at least $50 billion in rorts and waste already racked up by the Morrison Government; and
- Second-highest taxing government of the last 30 years, with taxes remaining higher across the forward estimates than what they inherited .
Scott Morrison is lying again when he says his Government’s done a good job managing the economy.
The economy would be in much better condition had the Morrison-Joyce Government’s incompetence and complacency not plunged 60 per cent of the country into lockdown, bleeding billions of dollars a week from the national economy.
The Budget would be stronger if it wasn’t riddled with rorts and weighed down by waste.
Working families would be better off without the twin failures of stagnant wages and insecure work which define the Coalition’s decade in office.
If the Liberals and Nationals hadn’t wasted so much money on rorts and waste there’d be more room to meet the costs of essential services like Medicare.
We need this to be the right kind of recovery – broad, enduring, inclusive and strong.
It isn’t a real recovery if all Australians don’t share in the benefits.
A better future means an economy and a society stronger after COVID than before, and that requires Labor’s positive plans for more support for working families, cleaner and cheaper energy, more secure jobs and better skills, and a future made in Australia.
THURSDAY, 16 DECEMBER 2021