Last night’s federal pre-election sales pitch budget failed to provide any plan to increase real wages or deliver secure jobs.
Scott Morrison and the Coalition Government has used $4 billion in unspent NDIS money to prop-up a budget surplus and at the same time have given over $224 a week in tax cuts to people who earn over $200,000 a year.
There are no measures to address growing inequality and no assurances for the many vital community services that are already struggling to keep their doors open.
This budget simply confirms what we already knew – we need to change the government and change the rules.
You can be part of changing the rules by coming along to one of the Change the Rules events on 10 April. In Victoria, join us at the ASU office at 9.30am to be part of the Change the Rules March. And in Tasmania, come along with us to the Change the Rules protest at 12.30pm in Launceston’s Civic Square.
Scott Morrison and the Coalition Government have proved once again that they are firmly on the side of big business, not working people, our families or communities.
Here is our budget breakdown from Canberra for members:
Nothing for workers
- The budget provides no concrete measures to lift wages in Australia. Wage growth is at an all time low while the profits of big corporations, many of whom pay no tax, continue to rise at a staggering rate.
- Nothing to address the gender pay gap, when the Government even admits in its Budget that it is at least 15%.
- Continuing to freeze superannuation at 9.5% and doing nothing to address the gender pay gap in retirement income – leaving many workers to retire in poverty. The Budget entrenches disadvantage for people living with family and domestic violence by encouraging them to use their superannuation to support themselves.
- There is nothing to support secure permanent jobs. This Government has done nothing to stop big business’ attempt to introduce cut-rate casuals in the community and disability sectors – attacking the permanent secure jobs and wages of hundreds of thousands of workers.
Nothing to tackle growing inequality
- Tax cuts that focus on the top end, and give more money to people who earn over $200,000 than anyone else (over $224 a week!). While pensioners get a one off payment equivalent to $1 a week, and people on Newstart and Youth Allowance who are already living in poverty get nothing.
- There are no measures to tackle housing affordability – nothing to support more social or affordable housing.
No certainty for ASU member industries
- No new money for local government.
- Not a cent of extra money to support better training or wages in the NDIS, despite unspent NDIS money providing the Government $4 billion in surplus. ASU members have been calling for a Portable Training Scheme. The Government’s own NDIS Committee recommended our scheme, that would cost just one cent in every NDIS dollar and provide a quality, trained workforce.
- Nothing to address the pending community mental health funding cliff. Essential community service programs like PIR and PHAMS are still set to end on June 30. This will be a huge impact on ASU members working in these programs and for the vulnerable members of the community they support.
- The budget specifies that there will be NO money to support equal pay increases beyond 2020 and NO indexation on government grants to the community sector.
- The only initiative to address domestic violence is to give millions to for-profit company Medibank Private to run 1800 RESPECT, after privatising the service in previous years. Allowing a corporation to increase their profit from rape.
- Over 60% cut in funding for services to asylum seekers.
- No funding for renewable energy or just transition for workers in the energy sector. Energy bills will continue to go up, and nothing is being done to address climate change.
- The one bright light, coming in response to strong lobbying from the ASU VicTas branch, is additional funding for essential aged care services provided by councils. The budget provides $5.9 billion over two years from 2020‑21 to extend the Commonwealth Home Support Programme.
This latest budget makes it clear that we need to change the rules and change the government.
A federal election is due to be called within the next week, with an election likely to be held in May.
The Abbott-Turnbull-Morrison Government haven’t done anything for ASU members over the last five and a half years.
ASU members across Australia are already working together to change the government.
Sign up here and we will be in touch about events and actions you can get involved in to be part of the campaign to Change the Rules.