Bridget McKenzie, the Nationals Duty Senator for Bendigo, said the Budget is a major disappointment for residents of central Victoria.
“This year’s Budget demonstrates no plan to build a stronger economy, repay debt or create secure jobs,” said Senator McKenzie.
“It’s a confused budget. All it delivers is more borrowing, more taxes, record debt – and the world’s biggest carbon tax.”
Senator McKenzie said five days before the last election, Julia Gillard promised “there will be no carbon tax under the government I lead” and this year’s Budget 2012 is Australia’s first carbon tax Budget.
“The world’s biggest carbon tax is about to hit families, jobs and investment at the world’s worst time.
“The carbon tax will act as a wrecking ball across the local economy and we will all be paying for it through increased prices, higher energy bills and pressure on local businesses.”
Senator McKenzie said she was also concerned about the government’s announcement that it will seek to increase Australia’s debt ceiling to a record $300 billion – four times higher than it was in 2008.
“This is another increase in our nation’s credit card limit. We will see net government debt climb to a record in 2013-14. That is an increase of almost $40 billion since last year’s Budget.
“And by 2015-16, the government will be spending over $8 billion a year or around $22 million a day on interest payments alone.
“We are now paying the price for Labor’s four record deficits which together total $174 billion.”
Senator McKenzie said she was concerned that the Budget papers forecast a rise in unemployment to 5.5 per cent.
“Last year’s Budget promised 500,000 new jobs over two years, but the Government now expects to miss its target by 300,000 jobs. Meanwhile the Government is cutting $200 million out of jobs services programmes.”
Senator McKenzie said central Victorian residents want a government which can deliver an economic strategy to build a stronger Australia, reduce cost of living pressures and create secure jobs.
“Instead they have a government mired in chaos and a Prime Minister with no judgment. Today Australians will be asking themselves: how long will this one last?”