The Federal Budget is a huge spendathon built on the temporary windfall benefits provided by the low unemployment rate, record resources exports and strong profits, largely provided by decisions of the former government according to Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey.
“While direct relief to families struggling with bills will be welcome, higher budget expenditure, which after less than a year in office has increased by $185bn,” he said.
“The very large surge in government stimulus will contribute to the higher inflation which is increasing the cost of everything including grocery prices.
“There will be winners and losers, because while people will benefit directly from increased subsidies, it comes at the cost of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset which affects the same target groups. It will be some time before we know who the winners and losers are.
Mr Ramsey said he was very disappointed there was no new commitment to continue the extensive roads works we have seen in recent years in South Australia.
“This means when the money allocated by the former Coalition Government runs out, that will be the end. For instance, the completion of the dual lanes on the Augusta Highway through to Lochiel looks like being the last for a very long time,” he said.
“Additionally, the increase in the Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge of 6% pa is well in front of Labor’s inflation forecast and will collect an extra $1.1bn from truckies over the next four years.
“ It is another cash grab and will disproportionally affect regional Australia where we rely on trucks for everything.
“The tripling of the Medicare Bulk Billing Incentive is undoubtedly welcome however, it applies only to Concession Card holders and those under sixteen. Neither is there much more than passing acknowledgment of the chronic shortage of doctors in rural Australia.
“The Treasurer was pleased to announce an instant tax write off for small businesses for items up to $20k but, neglected to mention it was trashing accelerated write-offs at the same time for all items across the business sector and instead represents a tax increase on the sector.
“The Budget detailed the funding for earlier announcements to lift child care subsidies, but this support goes only to people who already have child-care.
“There is not one new place for those who cannot access care now and right across Grey families are telling me they have either too few places or for many smaller communities, none at all.
“In Grey for so many we get to pay more for others to access services we cannot access ourselves.”
Media contact: Leonie Lloyd-Smith 0417827523
May 10 2023