Hon Judi Moylan

No bang for budget buck in Pearce

With no serious reform, the people of Pearce will again miss out as a result of another big taxing, big spending Labor Budget. “The Government has not taken a single tough decision to rein in its reckless and wasteful spending,” the Hon Judi Moylan MP, Member for Pearce said today. “The Budget’s return to surplus relies upon applying new taxes to Australia’s resources sector, not tough decisions. Kevin Rudd’s mining tax is putting major projects at risk diminishing retirees’ superannuation savings and sending jobs offshore, which will have an entirely negative impact on the Australian economy. Spending in this Budget will increase by $26 billion over the next three years relative to last year’s record spending forecast. The Government will have to borrow over $700 million a week to fund its reckless and wasteful spending – putting upward pressure on interest rates and the cost of living for Australian families in Pearce. TAX: The Government’s $9 billion a year mining tax will damage the sector of the Australian economy which did the most to see us through the Global Financial Crisis. Already this reckless decision has resulted in BHP casting doubt over the $20 billion expansion of Olympic Dam, Santos deferring a decision on a $15 billion LNG export-terminal in Gladstone, Xstrata suspending a $30 million regional exploration programme, and Origin Energy predicting increases in domestic energy and fuel prices. Many Small businesses will miss the payoff for this new tax on the mining sector as the reduction of company tax will not affect most small and medium businesses which are not Companies. HEALTH: The Budget confirms that Kevin Rudd’s health policies will be about more bureaucrats and not better services. The Government will spend around $500 million to establish new layers of Commonwealth bureaucracy. In less than a month, Kevin Rudd has broken his promise of no net increase in health bureaucrats. Having broken his election promise and built just two of 36 GP super clinics, Kevin Rudd is now asking the Australian people to trust him to build 23 more. On this conversion rate, Australians can expect this latest promise from Kevin Rudd to deliver just 1.4 extra super clinics. With only two GP super clinics built in the last two years, it should take another 23 years to complete these newly promised clinics. DENTAL HEALTH: Despite 1.5 million Australians being in need of urgent dental health treatment and previous promises to fix the system, there is nothing in this budget to provide any relief to those needing urgent treatment. MENTAL HEALTH: The Labor Government has removed social workers and occupational therapists ability to offer mental health services under Medicare. This move will hurt thousands of Australians. From July, Australians, with mental illness, who access these services will no longer be able to claim back the Medicare rebate currently available, which will frequently mean they are unable to afford the service. Some 1,500 doors to early intervention mental health services will be closed at the end of June this year for vulnerable Australians with mental health issues. To cut services to Australians, who so desperately need them, especially in the already under-serviced rural and remote area, places the system under increasing strain. ROADS AND REGIONAL DEVELOPMENT: Despite public statements that a third or $3 billion of the $9 billion per annum raised in the mining super royalty tax would be spent on infrastructure only $700 million has been allowed in the Budget for infrastructure. There is no new money for road funding or regional development in the Pearce electorate, while funding in 2010-11 for local government will be $1.21 billion less than in 2009-10 because of the clawback of an advance payment and the termination of the Community Infrastructure Program. LANDCARE AND ENVIRONMENT: Labor's Budget cuts another $81.3 million from Caring for Our Country, including $10.9 million from Landcare, and the Regional Food Producers program has been cut by $5.5 million. The Budget also introduces fuel excise charges for ethanol and LPG for the first time, phased in from 2011 to 2015. The word ‘regional’ appears only once in the Treasurer’s Budget speech and ‘agriculture’ not at all. That alone shows the contempt with which the Government treats regional Australia. Having shelved its response to what Kevin Rudd described as “the greatest moral challenge of our time”, the Budget demonstrates that the Government does not have a credible policy on climate change. The Coalition remains the only major party with a policy that will reduce carbon emissions by five per cent by 2020 while at the same time delivering good environmental outcomes. Despite having no climate change policy, the Rudd Government will spend $30 million for another climate change advertising campaign. This is on top of the $38.5 million spent over two years to advertise the Henry Tax Review, of which the Labor Government only adopted a handful of the 138 recommendations. HOME INSULATION: The Budget confirms that Kevin Rudd’s home insulation disaster will cost at least $1 billion to fix, with thousands of homes across Australia still not inspected in the aftermath of the scheme’s cancellation. The Home Insulation program, which has been linked to four deaths and resulted in 240,000 dangerous and dodgy insulation jobs, 1,000 electrified roofs, and 120 house fires, will now cost the Budget a further $1 billion. This is on top of the $1.55 billion (out of $2.45 billion) already spent on this failed program. CHILD CARE: Fresh from abandoning its policy to build 260 childcare centres, the Labor Government will cut child care payments for out-of-pocket expenses by $278 a year. The annual childcare rebate will be capped at $7500, a reduction on the annual cap of $7778 a child. Families stand to lose $926 a child by the fourth year of the measure. Beyond this however, the Government has overlooked those factors preventing women from re-joining the workforce, thus preventing the economy from reaching its optimum potential.

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