6 October, 2020
Zali Steggall OAM MP says the Government has missed the opportunity to make lasting and significant reforms through the budget delivered tonight.
“It is time to be brave and bold and secure our economic future to aim for gold,” she said. “Instead, Australians are getting record debt and spending on ‘business as usual’ measures that will not put Australia on the podium.”
“The government is spinning this budget as a ‘big spend’ when it is really a drop in revenue and no major investment,” she said. “The main beneficiaries will be large construction companies capable of tendering on large infrastructure projects.”
“The biggest single measure in this budget, $26.7 billion, focused on encouraging businesses to invest freely through full asset write offs, is another positive step to get money flowing. Similarly bringing forward the personal income tax cuts will cut $17.8 billion from Government revenues, giving it back to individuals.”
“These two measures represent nearly a quarter of this budget and they are based on big assumptions that businesses and individuals will spend.”
“While I support the tax cuts to both businesses and individuals, as the Governor of the Reserve Bank has said, we need deeper reform. Yet this budget continues to be shackled by the Government’s unwillingness to step up to the challenges that we face.”
“The positives that I see are the focus on youth in the JobMaker program, particularly the wage subsidies to employ young people and the extension of the research and development funding of $2 billion, $1 billion for research at universities and $459 million for the CSIRO is a nod to the need for innovation.”
“The $1 billion for the National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation to incentivise institutional investment in affordable housing and $150 million for the Indigenous Home Ownership Program are some of the most positive contributions to innovation and job creation.”
“But we have serious gender inequity and disparity occurring in our society, $240 million for the Women’s Economic Security Statement is a tokenistic contribution to gender equality. The lack of assistance to childcare or paid parental leave arrangements shows a lack of clear commitment to addressing this issue.”
Integrity and accountability have also been ignored in this budget.
“This is not a topic that the Morrison government likes. The Australian National Audit Office have had their funding frozen and slightly reduced and there has been no substantial new money set aside for a National Integrity Commission.”
“Accountability is sorely needed when we are facing such spending, with very little detail and so little scrutiny,” she said.