In its 8th year the Morrison government has delivered a tired flabby budget that is built on eye-watering levels of debt and aimed at addressing its political problems.
Despite racking up a trillion dollars in debt – two-thirds of which was accumulated before the pandemic – the Budget makes no lasting improvements or reforms to social services or the economy.
The funding for aged care does not deliver on the recommendations of the Royal Commission in to Aged Care Quality and Safety, and there is nothing to support workers in the sector. The government has sought to pinch Labor’s push for childcare reform, yet its package only helps a quarter of the families that would be supported under Labor’s plan.
Meanwhile there are further cuts to universities and to the ABC and SBS.
There are no new initiatives to tackle climate change or to address Australia’s environmental crisis or to fix the woeful state of NBN services, especially in WA. There is no funding for community infrastructure at the local level anywhere in the Fremantle electorate, and the government continues to exclude fast-growing peri-urban areas from the Building Better Regions fund – which means areas on the metro/rural fringe like Cockburn miss out on much-needed support.
After eight years of Liberal-National government, the tale of decline is clear:
The Morrison Government has failed to do accept its responsibilities when it comes to the pandemic. They failed to secure a proper supply of vaccines, and they’ve bungled the roll-out. They failed to set up a safe national quarantine system, and now people with Australian passports are threatened with jail if they come home. All this means that our recovery is slower and more costly, with ongoing impacts to tourism, the arts & cultural industry, and higher education.
Australia desperately needed a Budget that responded to the COVID-19 crisis and applied funding thoughtfully to set up a stronger and fairer foundation of our shared social and economic well-being. Sadly, that opportunity has been missed.