The Budget will rack up a trillion dollars of debt but still doesn’t do enough to create jobs, fails to build for the future and leaves too many Australians behind, especially in the bush.
There is nothing in this Budget that will improve life outcomes for Aboriginal people.
There is no new money for housing in remote communities.
There is no money identified for specific road improvements to access remote communities in the Northern Territory.
There is no plan to lift the permanent rate of JobSeeker from $40 per day. The ending of the coronavirus supplement, currently $250 in December will negatively impact not only on recipients but regional businesses that have benefited significantly by the increase in spending in regional towns such as Alice Springs, Tennant Creek and Katherine.
The Government also outlined funding to continue the Cashless Debit Card in existing locations on an ongoing basis including in the Territory. The Cashless Debit Card is ideological, punitive and discriminatory and there simply isn’t evidence that broad based Income Management and the Cashless Debit Card actually works.
There is nothing meaningful in the Budget for essential services, health or economic development for the bush.
The Budget also raises questions about the Government’s supposed commitment to the Barkly Regional Deal and if any of the money has actually hit the ground in terms of new programs and infrastructure.
Despite urgent need, and a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in communities and services, this Budget has failed people living in the bush.
This budget could have been about nation building – and nation healing.
But instead, it has again revealed the Prime Minster as all announcement and no delivery.