A Budget of missed opportunity

Forum –

Are you able to imagine a new and better society and Australia post COVID-19?

One with free education, pre-school to university and TAFE, free childcare, housing for all, no more small government with few to no services in a clean, green world with a cohesive community minded society?

I can!

This was a Budget of missed opportunity, and if there ever was a Budget that could have delivered all of this and set our country on the path to true prosperity, this was the one to do it.

Even the Coalition isn’t shying away from the debt and deficit.

Instead, we are being hoodwinked with a business led recovery and more of the appalling trickle down Reagan and Thatcher economics where the rich get richer at the expense of the rest of our society.

All that money will largely go down the drain or into the pockets of business people with little or nothing in the country to show for it.

The Coalition Government has produced a blueprint for more of the same.

How does this Budget bring a shattered economy and society together when it is purposely built around winners and losers, together with an us and them narrative?

And the winners are: People in a job with lower taxes; young people, because employers are paid to employ them; men, as the recovery is based around male dominated industries; and, fossil fuels, with a gas led recovery and more poison in our air and waterways.

With 41 percent methane leakage, gas is little better than coal and certainly not a transition fuel.

Vales Point Power Station is seeking $11M for works to prop up an extremely old power station that should have been retired a decade ago and is now turning a handsome profit for its private owners after Gladys, as Treasurer, sold it for a million dollars with very limited liability to clean up its toxins, propping up the fossil fuel industry once again.

The losers in the Budget are the unemployed who are losing money, have no security and living under the poverty line, as well as the old or infirm, because there was no work on structural reform to aged care, insufficient care packages and no rise in pension payments.

Women are losers in the Budget because most job losses are mostly in female dominated occupations, and there is no plan for recovery, so women can expect lower wages, more casualisation and less job security, and there’s no change to childcare.

The losers are anyone who aspires to higher education or works for a university, anyone associated with the Arts, one of the hardest hit sectors, and nothing for the casual artists which would be over 90 percent of the workforce.

There’s no help for renewables and it is actually stifling development, for instance, by not moving on a wind farm off Victoria’s Gippsland Coast which would create an immediate 2,000 jobs and potentially power 20 percent of the state’s electricity.

For everyone who needs safe housing, there’s no money for you in the Budget, and everyone waiting for permanent settlement or on a student visa, there’s no help for you either.

Email, Oct 12
Sue Wynn, Mannering Park