The Abbott Government’s first budget has been delivered and it lived up to the promise of one of the toughest, in decades.
Now the ‘big sell’ around the country is underway, and that too promises to be tough.
Two things are certain about this year’s budget.
It’s unpopular, and we’re all being told to tighten our belts.
The Government says it can’t keep using its credit card, to pay the nation’s mortgage.
Cobey Bartels reports.
Treasurer, Joe Hockey, called it the time for action.
Joe Hockey, Federal Treasurer: “Doing nothing is not an option fellow members, the days of borrow and spend must come to an end.”
Tony Abbott says spending money Australia doesn’t have, has to stop.
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “We were paying our nation’s mortgage on the credit card. It had to stop and it has stopped.”
The budget claims an overall saving of $36.4 billion over four years.
But to do that, big cuts were needed.
Family allowances, welfare and foreign aid among the hardest hit.
The Opposition slammed the budget for targeting families, the sick, the elderly and motorists.
Bill Shorten, Opposition Leader: “What I don’t accept, is that we should be getting our kids at schools, the sick with medicare, motorists on the roads, paying the price.”
The AMA is not happy with the Medicare co-payment.
Prof Geoffrey Dobb, AMA: “This is a really bad time to be sick in Australia.”
Clive Palmer had positive things to say about parts of the budget, But not the petrol excise rise.
Clive Palmer, PUP Leader: “So Australians can look forward to increased petrol prices every, every, every year.”
There were budget winners.
More than $30 billion is going to transport and infrastructure growth.
And Queensland will get almost $13.5 billion for upgrades to the Bruce Highway, the Toowoomba Second Crossing and the Gateway Motorway.
Some of the money raised from the Budget cuts will fund areas like new medical research, and incentives for businesses to employ the over 50s.
Tony Abbott says, the Government has kept faith with Australia.
Tony Abbott, Prime Minister: “The answer based on last night’s budget is yes, the people of Australia can trust us.”
Joe Hockey, Federal Treasurer: “I commend this budget to the House.”
While Government may be applauding this year’s budget, taxpayers aren’t so happy.
Cobey Bartels, QUT News.