ProtégéA Budget of Broken Promises

May 10, 2023

Last night, like many Australians, I was watching the Treasurer hand down this Labor Government’s second budget, and what I saw was truly disheartening. The Labor Government’s approach to the economy is a classic case of “robbing Peter to pay Paul,” without any consideration for the long-term consequences.

The Budget reveals that the Labor Government is focused on big spending and high taxation, a recipe for economic stagnation. Despite the Government’s claims, the Budget does not address structural challenges and will only make life more difficult for Australian families, small businesses, self-funded retirees, and mortgage holders.

In less than a year from their last budget, the Labor Government has increased spending by $185 billion, which will only worsen inflation and put more pressure on Australian families. The combined impact of interest rates and inflation has already led to a typical Australian family being $25,000 worse off since the Labor Government took office.

Key takeaways from the Budget include:

  • No growth in real wages this year
  • A continued rise in the cost of living
  • Skyrocketing gas and electricity bills
  • Rising unemployment rates
  • Stubbornly high inflation
  • Higher taxes for Australians

The Treasurer declared that the rate of unemployment would be the ultimate test of the Government’s performance. However, the Budget papers reveal that unemployment is set to increase, which is another broken promise.

Recently the Senate Select Committee on the Cost of Living found in their Interim Report:

“2.6 The challenges Australians faced with the rising cost of living was a significant feature of the then-Labor Opposition’s commitments to the Australian people as part of the 2022 election campaign and following the election.

2.7 Then Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese MP and his frontbench colleagues made a significant number of statements indicating that cost of living pressures would improve under a Labor Government. These included:

      • ‘I’ll say this very clearly. They [Australians] will be better off under a Labor government’;
      • ‘We’ve got policies about getting power bills down. We’ve got policies…to get real wages moving again’; and
      • ‘People will be seeing in their bank accounts what the change of Government means. People will be seeing in their bank accounts a wage increase…’.

2.8 However, the evidence the committee has received throughout the inquiry to date is that these commitments have not materialised. Rather, cost of living pressures have worsened into a cost of living crisis in the last six months.”

Unfortunately, it seems that Australians are paying the price for this Labor Government’s misplaced priorities and broken promises.

We, at the Australian Liberal Students’ Federation, will continue to advocate for policies that strengthen the economy, support small businesses, and create a fairer Australia for all.

by Blake Keating

Blake is the President of the Australian Liberal Students' Federation.