Member for Barker Tony Pasin MP says after inheriting a budget in strong economic position from the Coalition, Labor’s first Federal Budget has been the first test of economic management and Labor has failed.
Mr Pasin said Labor has broken election promises and done nothing to ease cost of living or inflation.
“Before the election, the Prime Minister told Australians that they would be better off under a Labor Government. In truth, the typical Australian family will be at least $2,000 worse off by Christmas alone,” Mr Pasin said.
The Federal Budget handed down by the Labor Government last night did not include a credible plan to deal with the source of inflation or to help families deal with immediate cost of living pressures.
“This budget fails Australian families at a time when they really need a plan to address cost of living pressures,” Mr Pasin said.
Mr Pasin said the budget confirmed that cost of living is going up including electricity and gas bills, taxes are increasing, and employment is forecast to go down, along with real wages.
“It’s a high-taxing, high-spending budget that does nothing to help households deal with cost of living pressures” Mr Pasin said.
The budget confirms that electricity and gas prices are expected to rise sharply over the next two years. Treasury has assumed retail electricity prices will increase by 50 per cent. Retail gas prices are up some 40 per cent in 2022 and 2023. Despite Labor’s pre-election promise to reduce power prices by $275 a year, their own budget papers contradict this claim, and the Government has no plan to address rising prices.
Mr Pasin also said the Government had failed to limit taxes imposed on Australians. Under Labor, the tax paid by Australians will increase by $142 billion over the forward estimates.
“By abandoning the 23.9 per cent of GDP tax cap, the budget delivers no certainty for the 10 million Australians on their legislated tax relief due in 2024,” Mr Pasin said.
“The only new change to the tax system announced in this budget is a new tax on investments, slugging people who invest their own savings and superannuation.”
Despite ruling out these changes before the election, Labor will hit retirees and investors with a new $555 million tax, depriving investors of franking credits which they have previously relied on.
Mr Pasin said the Budget demonstrated Labor’s misunderstanding and disregard for the regions and was a slap in the face for rural and regional communities that that are so vital for national economic growth.
“Labor have pulled funding from programs like the Building Better Regions Fund while simultaneously referring to infrastructure investment in metropolitan Adelaide (Glenelg and Marion) as projects in ‘regional Australia’,” Mr Pasin said.
Mr Pasin also criticised the $400 million in funding for Stuart, Dukes and Augusta Highways.
“These road funding crumbs will do little to drive economic growth and productivity particularly when we note that this funding will take place over a ten-year period,” Mr Pasin said.
“I’ve been calling for duplication of major freight routes in Barker, and to see that such a poultry sum has been allocated to South Australian freight routes over 10 years is really disappointing.”
Mr Pasin said the lack of transparency in the Budget for water recovery under the Murray Darling Basin Plan was damaging to the integrity of the Basin Plan.
“Before the election Labor refused to rule out returning to a policy of water buy backs. Now they are telling us that to recover the additional 450GL buybacks are back on the table, but the funding detail is ‘not-for-publication’,” Mr Pasin said.
“At a time when Australians are worried about cost of living, this Government is making it harder for our growers to produce food and fibre in the Murray Darling Basin and this Government is not being transparent about how much they have Budgeted to buy back water- a policy that will kill river communities,” Mr Pasin said.
Mr Pasin said he was disappointed the Budget included nothing to address access to childcare.
“Labor clearly has no plan to address the current workforce shortage and pressures being faced by early learning educators. There is no plan to address access to care, with many parents, particularly in the regions, struggling to find a place for their child. Furthermore, out of pocket costs are rising at a rate that indicates their policy will also do very little to reduce costs for families in the long term,” Mr Pasin said.
“Australians are being hampered by a new government with no economic plan for the future,” Mr Pasin said.
“Australians deserve better from a government that promised so much, but in its first economic test, has delivered very little.”
“Ultimately this is a Federal Budget that does nothing to help everyday Australians with their family budgets,” Mr Pasin said.
Media Contact: Charlotte Edmunds 8724 7730