Government in Denial: Budget Priorities Leave Tasmanians Behind

The 2019/20 State Budget points to a government in denial of the reality Tasmanians see every day: The quality of life for many people is worse now than it was when this government first took office in 2014.

Ms Kym Goodes, CEO, TasCOSS said: “This budget does not deliver the game-changer Tasmania needed to get local people into local jobs.

“Each year the State Budget sends a message to Tasmanians about what our government’s priorities are.

“This is the fifth infrastructure based ‘job creating’ budget we have had since 2014, each one spending more on hard infrastructure than the one before it with the promise this investment will lead to job creation.

“The Tasmanian Government can build hard infrastructure, but if we don’t invest in supporting Tasmanian job seekers to get local jobs we’re not ensuring everyone can share in the state’s prosperity.

“Tasmania’s unemployment rate is still disproportionately high. Social indicators, such as housing waiting lists, are getting worse.

“The Premier recognised this challenge when he committed to a plan for strategic growth in his State of the State Address in March:

We must find ways to ensure all Tasmanians are feeling the benefits of a strong economy, and that no one is left behind.

– Premier Will Hodgman, State of the State Address, March 2019

“Solving entrenched Tasmanian issues such as unemployment and poverty is not simple, but it is possible. We know the answers lie in getting local people into local jobs, and that focussing on innovative transport responses, targeted training, oral health, adult literacy and digital inclusion support sit at the heart of strategic solutions.

“This is not the game-changing budget Tasmanians need. The government knows it. The Treasurer knows it and Tasmania’s 17,000 job seekers know it. We have seen this Budget before — it has been delivered again and again. And we cannot expect to see different results until the government opens up to investing differently and directly in Tasmanians.”