Wednesday 13 May 2009

Budget review: Dr Darren Delaney

I asked a few local commentators, from various political persuasions, to write their observation of the Federal budget, just handed down by Treasurer Wayne Swan.

Dr Darren Delaney is chair of the Leichhardt Federal Divisional Council, Liberal National Party of Queensland.

“Swan Flu” has finally hit our shores and most importantly in Far North Queensland. The losers, clearly identified with Labor’s red pen in Budget 2009, include those who live in Far North Queensland and other regional areas but specifically our youth, the unemployed, the middle aged and single parent pensioners.

The prejudice to capital city spending and imprudent debt encumbrance on young Australians will be endured for generations. This is not a budget for all Australians and the pain to be suffered particularly by those living in the regions is even more poignant on analysing the specific details of this government’s profligate spending.

The largest government splurge of modern time and the Federal Government has ignored the region which arguably has contributed most to the economy. We are told that this is a budget ‘for all Australians’ and ‘for nation building’. However, any spending identified for the region in Far North Queensland is wanting or poignantly absent. This is a shameful and disgraceful rejection to all those who live in the regions and to those who contribute heavily to the economic wealth of this great nation. Broadband will not save the day in Far North Queensland.

As tardily anticipated, the nation’s pensioners have finally been recognised by this wayward government but not without considerable structural cost. Having been left out in the cold, from Labor’s promises in the 2007 Federal Election, single pensioners will finally receive a modest increase to their base payment. Not so for students, the unemployed, and single parent pensioners. As a penance many middle aged Australians will no longer qualify for the aged pension until they reach 67 years and pensioner couples will be penalised in their base payment increases.

Budget 2009 has ignored the small business power house of the Australian economy. The Labor Government has provided nothing substantial to ensure the continued employment and future retention of staff in small businesses throughout the Far North and regions. With the lack of infrastructure spending targeted for the Far North and the lack of support for small business the escalation of unemployment will be felt here more so than in any other area. This is neither responsible nor sensible. It entirely disregards small business as the very foundation to any future economic recovery.

The Federal Government has spent billions in profligate cash hand outs and now tries to convince us that the key to economic growth and recovery is new infrastructure spending. Squandering hard earned Coalition Government savings and now proposing that it is financially responsible to borrow upwards of $300billion. Nothing is responsible about leaving an inter-generational debt legacy of some $9000 for every Australian with interest costs running at $500 per annum. Furthermore, the financial dilettantes inform us tonight we are to return to surplus by 2013 while refraining from highlighting the defective assumptions of above trend growth anticipated over the next seven years.

Massive spending is to be exhausted from the Building Australia Fund to finance ventures such as nine metropolitan rail projects including the Gold Coast. Yet the region most deserving of an efficient and green-friendly light rail system supported by its linear geography has been completely left off the Building Australia funding map. There is nothing to rejoice in the Budget for Far North Queensland.

Budget 2009 is no plan for recovery. It does nothing to stimulate growth in Far North Queensland and will do nothing to expand the economic pie across Australia. The Budget pain will be felt far and wide and the outcomes neither responsible nor prudent. However, what else would we expect from a government that pens its parliamentary bills in a red ink that stains permanently.


Lance T. Royce said...

I just must laugh! Fantastic incite!

Did check with your mate Dennis to clear this?

Alison Alloway said...

I'm always amused at how people rant on about the "budget deficit" without any mention of the case for war reparations for Iraq. The illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq seems to have been conveniently forgotten. Such is politics.

KitchenSlut said...

Fantastic incite Lance?

Some of the devious budgetary fineprint is revealed by the always entertaining insights of Annabel Crabb in the SMH:

"It doesn't increase taxes on beer - it just changes the definition of what beer is. Can you believe it?

"The definition of beer will be changed to ensure that beer has a certain level of bitterness," announces Budget Paper Two, with barely a twinkle in its eye.

Government-mandated levels of bitterness. Now that has to be a first of some kind."

Following on from the alcopops fiasco Mr Rudd certainly does seem to have an obsession with the detail of social drinking habits. Oh, and it will also sneakily raise an extra $120 million ...

John, Kuranda said...

I love our MP’s asking “Dorothy Dixer’s”. But not as much as the Minister relishing the opportunity to blow his or her own trumpet.

And it does not matter what side of the political divide you support, Dorothy Dixers are cheap entertainment.

Take this example asked by Jim Turnour recently - OpenAustralia.orgIt is a worthwhile question – an update on the status of major infrastructure projects.

The interesting part is that Minister Albanese in his reply did not even pay our Jim the courtesy of listing a single Far North Queensland or indeed Queensland project.

Memo to Jim – if you are going to ask DD’s – make sure the response gives you some credit. After all the is nothing spontaneous about the god ole Dorothy Dixer!