Joe Hockey Defends His Budget In Speech To The Sydney Institute

The Treasurer, Joe Hockey, has delivered an aggressive defence of his first Budget, in a speech to The Sydney Institute tonight.

Hockey

Hockey took issue with claims that the Budget increases inequality: “I would argue the comments about inequality in Australia are largely misguided, both from an historical perspective, and from the perspective of the Budget.”

On claims that the Budget is unfair, Hockey said: “This misguided cry is made on the claim that not everyone is asked to contribute equally and that in the future some people will pay more for government services or receive less in payments.” [Read more...]


ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr Delivers 2014-15 Budget

The Australian Capital Territory Treasurer, Andrew Barr, has delivered the government’s Budget for 2014-15.

BarrBarr told the Legislative Assembly that the Budget invested in Canberra’s future. He said: “There’s no doubt the Territory faces a big economic challenge because of the Commonwealth’s budget cuts.”

Barr said the Budget “provides a record amount of funding for health”. He said $2.5 billion over four years has been allocated for infrastructure projects. The Budget cuts stamp duty, payroll tax and insurance duty.

Barr said: “The Government aims to balance the Budget over the economic cycle. While acknowledging the budget is in deficit this year, the Government has taken a specific policy decision to support the economy and our community ahead of returning to balance sooner by imposing harsh austerity policies.”

Budget Downloads

All documents are in PDF format.

Budget Speech delivered by to the ACT Legislative Assembly by Treasurer Andrew Barr.

Investing in Canberra

Canberra is facing a significant economic challenge. [Read more...]


Government’s Values Are Not The Nation’s Values: Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen At National Press Club

The Abbott government’s values are not the nation’s values, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen has told the National Press Club.

Bowen

Delivering the traditional response from the Opposition to the Federal Budget, Bowen said the “swingeing” cuts “take us to an Australia so much less than what we could do”.

Bowen said the issue went “way beyond broken promises”. The government had been “robbed of its moral authority in its first six months”.

  • Listen to Bowen’s speech (28m)

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  • Listen to Bowen respond to questions (34m)

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Transcript of Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen’s Address to the National Press Club.

The Coalition’s First Budget: Pain Without Principle

[Read more...]


You’ll Pay For Abbott’s Lies: New ALP Budget Advertisement

This is a television advertisement released today by the ALP, attacking last week’s federal Budget.

  • Watch the advertisement (30s)

Premiers Rebel Over Federal Budget Cuts; Demand COAG Meeting Before July 1

The States have rebelled over Federal Government Budget cuts, claiming that the impact will be felt on July 1, and demanding Prime Minister Tony Abbott convene a COAG meeting before then.

Newman

The State Premiers and Territory Chief Ministers met in Sydney today at a meeting called by the Queensland LNP Premier, Campbell Newman. The Western Australian Premier, Colin Barnett, was the only leader not to attend.

Newman said the meeting “firmly and unequivocally rejected” the Budget cuts. The political leaders demanded an urgent meeting of the Council of Australia Governments before July 1. Newman said: “Contrary to what the PM said today, there are immediate impacts to frontline services.”

He said the $180 million cut to hospitals would be felt immediately with about 1200 sub-acute beds being cut in hospitals. “There was a national partnership on preventative health – we all received letters saying that is terminated.” [Read more...]


ALP Will Oppose Budget Measures On Pensions, Youth Support, Family Tax Benefits And GP Co-Payment

Following Opposition Leader Bill Shorten’s Budget Reply speech tonight, the ALP has announced that it will oppose a series of Budget measures in the Parliament.

Statements from shadow ministers Jenny Macklin, Catherine King, Brendan O’Connor and Julie Collins say that the ALP will oppose:

  • Increasing the pension age to 70.
  • Changes to pension indexation arrangements.
  • Forcing young people under 30 to wait 6 months before receiving income support.
  • Moving people under 25 from Newstart to the lower-paying Youth Allowance.
  • Cutting families off Family Tax Benefit B when their youngest child turns 6.
  • The $7 co-payment for visit for visits to a general practitioner.

The ALP and the Greens have a blocking majority in the Senate until June 30. Neither party will oppose the Appropriation Bills, but where separate legislation is required they will have the ability to block measures.

After July 1, the ALP, Greens and the Palmer United Party group will have the numbers to block legislation in the Senate. Alternatively, either the ALP or the Greens will be able to guarantee passage of government bills. If the ALP and Greens are opposed to legislation, the government will need the support of 6 of the 8 crossbenchers.

Statement from Jenny Macklin, Shadow Minister for Families and Payments, and Disability Reform.

LABOR TO OPPOSE ABBOTT’S PENSION ATTACK

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s savage attack on Australia’s pension system and the millions of Australian pensioners who rely on it.

Labor will oppose Tony Abbott’s decision to increase the pension age to 70. [Read more...]


Budget Dominates Question Time; Repair Job Or Massive Deceit?

The Federal Budget was the dominant issue during Question Time in the House of Representatives today.

The government sought to portray the Budget as an economic repair job on the mess left by the previous Labor government, whilst the Opposition maintained it was a massive deceit of the electorate.

  • Download a transcript of Question Time (PDF – also shown below)
  • Listen to Question Time (78m)

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  • Watch Question Time (78m)