Nick McKim MP | Greens Treasury spokesperson
If you are homeless, if you are sick, if you have children in public schools, or if you care about the environment and action on climate change, the Budget has let you down.
It is a heartless budget which puts roads before people.
The damage done to essential services by the first Hodgman Budget has not been reversed. 766 public servants have been sacked, and health, education and housing are still worse off, while the Treasurer has created a $220.4 million slush fund for political pork barrelling.
Despite the Liberals’ “jobs, jobs, jobs” rhetoric, the Budget papers project unemployment to stay at 6.75% over the next four years.
The Liberals taking credit for a future surplus is like a lottery winner claiming it was all down to their hard work.
Housing has been particularly hard hit, with a $127 million cut to Housing Tasmania over the next four years and no new money to increase the supply of affordable housing despite public housing waiting lists increasing by nearly 1000 people under the Liberals.
It is simply inexcusable to leave $220.4 million sitting in a slush fund while class sizes and waiting lists for affordable housing and elective surgery have blown out over the past year.
It pours $728 million into roads and bridges, but nothing new for cycleways or public transport.
Funds for the environment been cut by at least $13.1 million, and not one extra dollar has been allocated for emissions reduction or climate change adaptation.
After promising no more subsidies, the Liberals will pour $24 million into Forestry Tasmania over the forward estimates from the consolidated fund.
Despite the Premier promising action, Tasmania’s archaic water and sewerage systems have been ignored completely.
We will provide a more comprehensive response tomorrow.