Budget makes the difficult but necessary choices
The Abbott Government’s first Budget lays the foundations for a strong and prosperous economy with less debt, Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt says.
“At the election, the Coalition made the commitment to get the Budget back under control, as well as scrap the Carbon Tax, end the waste, stop the boats and build the roads of the 21st century. This Budget keeps that pledge,” Mr Pitt said.
“The Budget is part of the Abbott Government’s Economic Action Strategy to build a strong, prosperous economy for a safe, secure Australia.
“The Government has made the difficult but necessary decisions to put the Budget on a more sustainable footing so that we can all share in prosperity in the future.
“We are all playing a part – because it’s in sharing the load that we lighten the load.
“Labor ran up five record deficits and left $123 billion in future deficits. If we took no action, debt would have hit $667 billion. Every month, the government is paying $1 billion in interest costs on Labor’s debt.
“Governments, like households, must live within their means.
“Because of this Budget, Labor’s deficits have been reduced by $43 billion and debt is forecast to be about $275 billion lower in a decade.”
The Budget includes:
- Australia’s biggest infrastructure programme – with $50 billion in transport investment;
- Creating the world’s biggest medical research endowment fund – the $20 billion Medical Research Future Fund. It will find the cures of the future and be funded by the health reforms;
- Requiring young people who can work to be earning, learning or participating in Work for the Dole;
- Providing stronger incentives to businesses to hire older workers – businesses will receive up to $10,000 for employing workers older than 50;
- Funding for additional road infrastructure by reintroducing twice-yearly indexation of fuel to CPI from 1 August 2014;
- Providing Australian universities with the freedom to innovate through full deregulation;
- Reforming the Age Pension to make it more sustainable – that includes gradually increasing the Age Pension age to 70 by 1 July 2035;
- Freezing politicians’ pay and ending the life-time gold pass;
- Changing family payments to target support to those who need it most; and
- Introducing a three-year Temporary Budget Repair Levy – payable, from July, by individuals with a taxable income above $180,000 at a rate of two per cent. The Levy will ensure those on a higher income contribute to the Budget repair.
Mr Pitt said the Government was honouring its commitment to reduce the overall tax burden – so that families can plan their future and get ahead.
“Every year, the Carbon Tax is a $9 billion hit on the economy and it costs an average family $550. We will scrap the Carbon Tax,” he said.
“Fewer than 4 per cent of taxpayers will pay the new Temporary Budget Repair Levy on high income earners making over $180,000.”
Mr Pitt said the largest roads Budget in our country’s history will improve Australia’s productivity.
“This record roads Budget will, in part, be funded by the change in fuel excise. The change will cost about 40 cents a week, depending how far you travel. The increase in fuel excise will be directed towards road funding.”
He said medical research will benefit from the changes to the Medicare Co-payment. Prevention is always better than cure – and this will become a $20 billion fund in our future health.
“By making the Health system more sustainable and investing in medical research, we are ensuring that Australia remains the best and healthiest place in the world to raise a family and care for loved ones”.
“The key goal of the Budget is to strengthen the economy – because when you strengthen the economy, small businesses succeed, families have less pressure on them and jobs are created.”
Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814
WHAT IT MEANS FOR HINKLER:
- $1 Million for Old Toogoom Road
- $3.75 Million for River Heads Road
- $350,000 for the Hervey Bay Hockey Association to install synthetic turf
- $100,000 for a tower at the Hervey Bay Surf Lifesaving Club
- $400,000 to extend the Bundaberg Surf Lifesaving Club
- $27,000 for Bundaberg Regional Council to install a surf safety/surveillance camera at the Elliott River Mouth
- $27,000 for Bundaberg Regional Council to install a surf safety/surveillance camera at Palmers Creek in Innes Park
- $27,000 for Bundaberg Regional Council to install a surf safety/surveillance camera at Mon Repos
- $12,000 for Bundaberg Regional Council to install a permanent Emergency Response beacon at Mon Repos
- $125,000 for the Centenary of Anzac Local Grants program across Hinkler
- A total of $6.7 Billion to fix the Bruce Highway
- $10.3 Billion over 2013-14 to 2018-19, plus an additional $3.1 Billion from 2019-20, for infrastructure in Queensland
- $1 Billion for the National Stronger Regions Fund to create stronger, more prosperous regional communities (specifically targeting areas with high unemployment)
- $300 Million nationally for the new Bridges Renewal Programme
- $100 Million nationally for the mobile telephone phone Black Spots Programme
- $320 Million in drought relief measures including $280 million in drought concessional loans, $12 Million for emergency water infrastructure, $10 million for pest management in drought affected areas and $10.7 million in social and mental health support
- $100 Million extra for applied agricultural research and development
- $8 Million to improve access to agricultural and veterinary chemicals
- $20 Million to build a stronger biosecurity and quarantine system
- An extra $9 Million for fisheries, including more support for recreational and commercial fishing bodies, support for these groups to meet maritime standards, and a review of invasive marine pests
- $15 Million to help small exporters with costs
- No changes to the diesel fuel rebate
- Removal of $1 Billion a year in red tape, because regulation means more staff doing paperwork and fewer staff helping customers
- Cutting company tax by 1.5 per cent for about 800,000 businesses
- $10,000 to each business that employs an Australian over the age of 50, who has been on unemployment benefits or the disability support pension for six months
- $14.9 million over two years from 2013-14 to phase in a new Work for the Dole programme for young job seekers
- From July, the Government will support those learning a trade by providing concessional Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000 over a four-year apprenticeship
- $245.3 million over four years to continue the National School Chaplaincy program
- The Coalition will deliver more than $12 Billion in overall funding to the veteran community, including honouring our commitment to deliver fair indexation for military superannuants
- $40 million for a Reef Trust to support the improvement of coastal habitat, water quality and enhancing species protection along the Great Barrier Reef
- Creating more opportunities for students with low socio-economic backgrounds and from regional areas through a Commonwealth scholarships initiative