Twelve weeks ago, Malcolm Turnbull’s pitch for the leadership of the Liberals was to deliver “new economic leadership”.
For the past two and a half years, Australia has been going backwards because the Liberals kept getting the big economic calls wrong.
In today’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, Australians learnt it has gotten even worse.
Today’s MYEFO highlights the monumental failure of two years of economic and budget management by the Coalition.
Under the Liberal Government: the deficit gets worse, debt gets worse, economic growth is forecast to slow again, wages growth has stalled and spending is up.
Today we see another round of Liberal cuts to: health and hospitals, education, aged care providers, child care, job seeker services, infrastructure, as well as $1.4 billion in hidden cuts.
Today we have also seen Malcolm Turnbull lock in Tony Abbott’s cuts to schools, hospitals, the $1.3 billion in savings from hiking up prices under the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme and $267 million from the Medicare Safety Net cuts rejected by the Senate
But worse still, some of the harshest cuts we’ve seen today are worse than anything Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey ever tried:
- Another $650 million cut from Medicare by slashing bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology services – services that cancer patients rely on.
- Axing radiation and oncology programs.
- Slashing $420 million in Aged Care support for seniors with complex needs.
- Cuts to child care before the Government’s reforms have even started.
While the Liberals have pushed through these harsh cuts, they have refused to:
- Tackle superannuation loopholes for millionaires;
- Axe its rebirthed $1,000 baby bonus.
- Make multinationals pay their fair share of tax;
- Change its Direct Action policy, which means taxpayers are subsidising polluters to pollute; or
- Consider Labor’s proposal to increase tobacco excise.
Once again under the Liberals, the people who can least afford it are having to pay more.
The Abbott-Turnbull Government promised to turbocharge the economy - since then we’ve had an economy at below-trend growth.
Under the Abbott-Turnbull Government, we have seen a consistent fall in living standards under this Government – it’s fallen by 3 per cent, where it increased by 6 per cent under Labor.
MYEFO shows that Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison have presided over a Budget deficit blowing out at the rate of $120 million per day. It has blown out by $26 billion in only 7 months. The Budget deficit for 2015-16 has blown by $33 billion since the last election.
The Government’s promised surplus has been junked for good.
We were also promised a surplus of 1 per cent of GDP by 2023-24 and that has been the ‘fiscal strategy’ adopted by the Liberal Party in its Budget updates.
MYEFO confirms the Government will break yet another election commitment, ditching this commitment altogether. The Coalition’s fiscal strategy lies in ruins.
To make matters worse, the Government has spending growth increasing at a faster rate in both 2015-16 and 2016-17 compared to the Budget.
Scott Morrison talked a lot today about getting to ‘the destination’.
Under the Liberals, the only destination is more cuts and for Australian families, it’ll only get worse with an increase to the GST.
- Growth is down: GDP has been downgraded from 2.75% to 2.5% this year, and from 3.25% to 2.75%.
- Investment is down: Business investment fell 6.3 % in 2014-15, and the forecast investment has decreased from -7 % to -9.5 % in 2015-16
- Spending is up: At PEFO, spending for this financial year was estimated by Treasury and Finance at 24.9% of GDP, it’s now 25.9% under the Liberals
- Deficit is up: In the 2014-15 Budget, the deficit for this year was $17.1 billion, in MYEFO it’s now $37.4 billion
- Debt is up: At PEFO, net debt for the next financial year was 12% of GDP for this year, in MYEFO it’s now 18.3%.
NEW LIBERAL CUTS ANNOUNCED TODAY
- Ripped another $650 million out of Medicare by slashing bulk billing for diagnostic imaging and pathology
- Gutted crucial health workforce training programmes by $595 million
- Ripped another $146 million out of health prevention and eHealth programmes
- Cut important radiation and oncology programs by $27 million
- Cuts Aged Care Provider Funding – complex care $472 million
- Cutting Aged Care Workforce funding by $595 million
- Cutting $126 million Job seeker services
- Abolish Mature aged employment program saving $11 million
- Slashing support for industry skills by $274 million
- $930 million from Family Day Care – introducing new child-swapping rules without undoing previous cuts;
- $344 million from the proposed Child Care Subsidy – breaking the Government’s promise not to means test the Child Care Rebate;
- $61 million from the Government’s nannies trial – cutting the program before it even starts;
- $35 million from programs to help low income families in areas with high child care costs; and
- $3 million from the Australian Early Development Census – further exposing the Government’s lack of commitment to early childhood research
Law and Order
- Cuts to Australian Federal Police (International Deployments) by $30 million
- $800 million cut to infrastructure from Asset Recycling and directed to Northern Australia only
- $1.4 billion in hidden cuts in Decisions Taken But Not Yet Announced
KEEPING THE ABBOTT/HOCKEY BUDGET ALIVE
- Continuing family payment cuts
- Continuing cuts to school
- Continuing cuts to hospitals
- Continuing Tony Abbott’s $1.3 billion hike in the price of essential medicines
- Continuing Tony Abbott’s $267 million attack on the Medicare Safety Nets.
- Continuing Tony Abbott’s $2 billion four year freeze on Medicare rebates for GP visits.
- Continuing $100,000 degrees for university students
- Continuing cuts to family payments that will leave 1.6 million families as much as $5,000 a year worse off;
- Continuing cuts to Newstart that will leave young jobseekers with no income support for a month;
- Continuing cuts to the pension that will leave 330,000 pensioners worse off and increase the pension age to 70; and
- Continuing cuts to paid parental leave for thousands of new parents.
TUESDAY, 15 DECEMBER 2015
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