The measures announced in the 2017 budget are long on talk but short on practical support for struggling residents in South Western Sydney, said Anne Stanley, Federal Member for Werriwa.
This budget pretends to be fair, but hits just as hard as previous budgets and continues to give the big end of town an easy ride. While handing down tax cuts of $16,400 for high income earners, penalty rate cuts starting on 2 July will also see workers in Werriwa lose $77 on average at the weekend.
The Turnbull Government continues to preside over an appalling loss of apprenticeships, with 130,000 apprenticeships already missing since 2013 and no plan to stem this tide.
They have said that they will target multinational tax avoidance, but its effectiveness will be questionable with no detail on how much will be recouped.
It contains no relief for struggling Medicare users, with the Turnbull Medicare freeze remaining in place for at least another 12 months, with specialists and diagnostic services also remaining frozen for another three years.
Centrelink wait times are set to get even worse, with the Turnbull Government slashing 1,188 jobs from the Department of Human Services in the coming year. This is on top of the disastrous axing of over 800 workers in last year’s Budget.
Centrelink clients ringing to report their income or clarify their responsibilities are already waiting up to 35 minutes just to have calls answered and some 29 million calls did not get through last year. People are already paying exorbitant phone bills simply to report their income and further cuts will be disastrous.
The Government’s housing affordability measures are a long way from the lofty platitudes of the last few months. Instead the package is a complete sham, the measures in the Budget merely tinker at the edges and do nothing to put first home buyers back onto a level playing field with investors, or take the heat out of the housing market.
Despite a commitment to build the airport, this budget contains no funding for any supporting infrastructure, like a rail link, meaning residents in the South West will only suffer worsening congestion when the airport construction gets underway next year.
This budget simply proves that this Government is big on talk but very short on real action for the people of Werriwa.