2014: The Year of Broken Promises
It is hard to know where to begin when reflecting on the Abbott government's year of broken promises. Across so many policy areas, we have seen the government cut funding where before the election it said it would not: from the GP co-payment, cuts to the ABC, the fuel excise, cuts to school funding, cuts to hospitals, cuts to higher education, cuts to pensions and cuts to science—the list goes on.
This year I have held community forums, pensioners' forums and university forums. I have held mobile offices and been doorknocking. I have visited businesses, both large and small. I have visited schools, and I have visited universities. The message is clear: Australians do not want this stinker of a budget.
I have spoken to pensioners who will struggle to make ends meet because their pensions have been cut. I have spoken to parents who are worried witless that their children's dreams of attending university are now unaffordable. I have spoken to people with chronic illness, who simply do not know how they will afford the increased costs of GP visits, prescriptions and pathology tests. I have spoken to families who feel cheated by a government that promised to ease cost-of-living pressures but has instead done the opposite. And I have spoken to hundreds of Canberrans who are living in fear of losing their jobs because of the government's cuts to the public services.
The government parades its claims about a year of achievement, and I encourage those opposite to get out into the community, out into the real world, and see how its year of broken promises is affecting every Australian for the worst.