The Coalition claims the budget sets out their plan for the nation, so what is that plan?
To address cost of living pressures, millions of people will be given a one-off few hundred dollars and a temporary reduction in petrol prices.
No permanent increase to pensions or Jobseeker. No support for an increase to the minimum wage. Nothing to address unaffordable housing and childcare.
To address climate change, we will increase our exports of “cleaner” coal and pin our future on gas, carbon capture and storage, and buying carbon credits.
No plan to genuinely cut emissions. No risk assessment of potentially stranded assets. No commitment to, or recognition of, the global effort to keep heating below 1.5 degrees.
To address the aged care crisis, a few hundred million will be spent on improving medication management.
No increase in wages for aged care workers. No mandated staff to resident ratio. No requirement for specifically trained staff.
To address national security, we will spend hundreds of billions on war toys that won’t arrive for decades, recruit more personnel, who also won’t materialise for decades, and join the dirty world of cyber and space warfare.
No thought of the value of soft diplomacy or being a responsible, respectful, reliable global citizen – it’s all about military ‘alliances’.
To address water security from droughts, we will build dams.
To address flood mitigation, we will build dams.
To address rising power costs, we will build dams.
To address irrigating increasingly unviable farming land, we will build dams.
The decision on whether dams are commercially viable, environmentally appropriate, where they should go, how they will operate, and who they will benefit, will be left to Barnaby Joyce who does not need unelected bureaucrats like the National Water Grid Advisory Body telling country folk what to do.
To address anything else, we have the following slush funds to be doled out one marginal electorate at a time:
Energy Security and Regional Development $7.1B
Regional Accelerator Program $2B
Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility $2B
Regional Telecommunications $1.3B
Local Roads and Community Infrastructure $501.7M
Modern Manufacturing Strategy and Fund $328.3M
Environment Restoration Fund $100M
Community Infrastructure Murray-Darling Basin $97M
Community Development Grants Program New Projects $67.7M
Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Rural Health $66M
Recycling Modernisation Fund $60.4M
Safer Communities Round Six $50M
Strong and Resilient Communities Grants $45.1M
Stronger Communities Round Eight $29.2M
Planting Trees for Queen’s Jubilee $20.3M
Community Child Care Fund $19.4M
Let the pork barrelling begin.
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