Budget u-turn doesn't hide unfairness
From a Budget emergency preaching austerity last year to a Budget that preaches spending just 12 months later.
We really have seen it all from this Abbott Government.
And despite the overblown rhetoric of 2014, this Budget sees tax up, spending at Global Financial Crisis levels, the deficit doubled and growth projections bordering on the heroic.
All this while the fundamental unfairness of the previous Budget remains.
The $80 billion cuts to schools and hospitals remain.
The $600 million cut to ACT health funding remains.
The $100,000 university degrees remain.
The cuts to family payments remain.
The GP tax by stealth remains.
And true to form, the Abbott Government attacks on Canberra remain.
Eight departments are earmarked for ‘functional reviews’, code for yet more job cuts.
The National Film and Sound Archive, National Archives, National Gallery of Australia, National Library and National Museum of Australia will see more jobs go. The NGA will lose $400,000 over the next four years. The Australian Federal Police will lose $220 million by 2017-18 and more than 100 jobs.
That’s on top of the 17,300 public service jobs that have been axed since the Abbott Government came to office.
And the campaign continues to reduce public service pay and conditions, with a newly minted focus on paid parental leave - despite the Prime Minister's earlier commitment to his gold plated signature policy.
The ground breaking paid parental leave scheme introduced by Labor in 2011 was always designed to be complemented by employer schemes so women could spend more time with their babies. It's an approach the Productivity Commission, Fair Work Ombudsman and business groups support.
The Abbott Government's change will leave thousands of Canberra women worse off. Public servants, Australian Defence Force and AFP personnel, teachers, nurses and private sector workers. Anyone on an employer funded scheme. That's why Labor will oppose this change.
The one piece of good news for Canberra from this Budget is the $20,000 upfront tax deduction on asset purchases and a 1.5 percent tax cut for small business. This has been welcomed by Labor because it’s a variation of the instant asset write off scheme that we introduced – and the Coalition later abolished.
But as for the rest of it, well it's just a reheated version of last year's horror Budget.