Tony Abbott’s second Budget lacks any vision or strategic plan for our economy.
It is being sold differently to last year’s but the big cuts to health, education and other services and community groups remain in place.
Government debt remains high, the Budget remains heavily in deficit, economic growth is sluggish and unemployment continues to rise.
Small business will welcome modest tax cuts but they will hardly provide the economic stimulus the Government is claiming and certainly will do little for productivity.
The child care initiatives have merit but are being paid for by cutting family payments.
There is no new money for infrastructure projects and therefore the Hunter will receive no funding. The failure to fund the Muswellbrook by-pass which the former Labor Government was progressing is a great disappointment. Singleton’s by-pass needs have been ignored and we are still waiting for the money the Labor Government provided three years ago to be spent.
We still have no agriculture policy and the drought assistance is token; the loans are a re-announcement of money the Government hasn’t been able to spend and the tax initiatives will be a small benefit to drought affected farmers in two years’ time.
Tony Abbott says he has learned his lesson but the detail of the Budget tells a different story.