After a year of savage cuts to Canberra, the 2015 Budget delivers nothing for our community except more uncertainty. This is just the latest proof that the Liberals see Canberra as little more than a political punching bag by the Liberals.
There is no new infrastructure spending for the ACT in this Budget, and no acknowledgement of how hard the Abbott Government’s 17,300 job cuts have hit Canberra since the Liberals came to office.
In fact, the Government appears to be gearing up for a fresh round of public service cuts, with so-called ‘functional reviews’ on the horizon for the departments of Environment, Foreign Affairs and Trade, Social Services, the Attorney-General’s Department, the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as well as the Australian Tax Office.
Not only do staff at these agencies face an anxious wait to find out if their jobs are safe – the Government is attacking their hard-fought-for pay and conditions.
Not content with increasing uncertainty and driving down wages, Joe Hockey is continuing to insist on cutting $80 billion from health and education funding for Australia’s states and territories – a disastrous measure left over from the 2014 Budget. The ACT will be $600 million worse off in terms of health funding alone as a result.
The Abbott Government is also continuing to push its unfair changes to family payments which will see single-income Canberra families lose up to $6,000 a year.
Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey seem to think that setting their sights on Canberra will help them keep their jobs. But our community should not have to suffer through further uncertainty and cuts simply to prop up this unfair government.