This Federal Budget demonstrates just how out of touch this government is with the Australian community. The Liberal party has to come to terms with the reality that their ideology is not compatible with the current economic climate. It must be difficult for a party consisting predominantly of wealthy, white males to relate in any sort of meaningful way to our diverse communities.
This budget not only fails to address the growing income disparity, it actively works to increase it. We see corporate taxes cut incrementally from 37 per cent to just 25 per cent in the coming years. One has to question what they are hoping to achieve by giving corporations and mid-to-high income earners tax cuts, while ignoring the 75 per cent of Australians who earn less than $80k; including most Tasmanians. While there are more provisions for ‘work for the dole’ programs with the new internship program, this must be tightly regulated to ensure employers do not exploit these people as sources of cheap or free labour.
Meanwhile, university fees are not specifically mentioned in any way except a $2 billion saving in forward estimates of higher education reform. Needless to say, this government has not dropped its policy of stripping government funding from education at all levels; fee deregulation is in the air.
The Turnbull Government continues its hollow mantra of jobs and growth whilst refusing to acknowledge or contend with Australia’s economic realities. The Reserve Bank has cut interest rates to record low, indicating the RBA’s lack of confidence in the state of affairs. The Liberal National Coalition have attempted to lull the Australian public into a false sense of security about the state of the economy, with Scott Morrison declaring that Australia has experienced $40 billion of growth. It would be interesting to know how much of that is foreign investment being exported out of the country. Our increased reliance on trade relations with China should be balanced by an Australia whose aim is to be self-sustaining and economically viable.
The Turnbull Government likes sells itself as a champion of innovation. Considering this it is surprising they have not positioned selves as drivers of the exciting transition to renewable energy.
What a shame they chose not to be at the forefront of this new era. Instead of investing in cutting edge science and technology, this government has decided to spend a whopping $90 billion on submarines and B-grade F-35 fighter jets.
The road to a budget surplus cannot be attained with tax cuts for wealthy individuals and corporations. These shortcuts are no more than band-aid fixes to deeper issues, and will not allow us to build a strong foundation for our future. Economic surplus can be achieved eventually by increased government investment in a truly diverse economy. Through adequate funding of public schools, TAFEs and universities; and by ending our reliance on coal and oil, we can begin the transition to a genuinely strong economy, founded on ecologically sustainable practices and a fairer society.