Next Tuesday’s Federal Budget will be a fascinating one.
Will we see Treasurer Scot Morrison steer the Government towards spending that addresses the growing inequality in our country and take steps to reduce the cost of living for the growing numbers of people working hard just to get by?
Federal Government spending cuts and a failure to grow services in line with demand have hurt households throughout our communities and left one in six of our children (731,000 under the age of 15) living in poverty.
Rather than tax cuts, moves to lift the rates of Newstart and other payments made to jobseekers, single parent families and students would assist thousands of Tasmanians to cover basic living costs and lead to improved lives in our State.
Tasmanians do not want to see big corporations such as the banks benefit from tax cuts while many Tasmanian families are struggling to put food on the table or pay their bills.
Overall we’re looking to the Federal Budget to begin to close major gaps in essential services and programs while building up a fiscal buffer so future governments can meet the community’s needs and expectations.This buffer is needed especially in the areas of mental health, aged care, health and the NDIS.
For many Tasmanians, the most pressing need is housing availability and affordability.
Recognition of this in the Federal Budget through negotiations to waive the housing debt the State Government owes to the Commonwealth would signal that our Federal politicians are listening and understand the high levels of housing stress families are experiencing.
Decisions that lessen the costs of publicly-funded services to consumers such as health care, child care and education would also improve the lives of struggling Tasmanian families.
TasCOSS will provide commentary to Members on the Federal Budget as soon as possible the morning of Wednesday 9 May. Please let us know if there is something in particular you are watching for by emailing email@example.com.