Greens Treasury spokesperson Senator Peter Whish-Wilson provides the following comments on the economic aspects of the budget.
Senator Whish-Wilson said: “The Liberals have squibbed it on infrastructure funding. We need to rapidly ramp up investment in productive infrastructure, right around the country, not just in a few select locations.
“Investment in non-Defence capital falls dramatically over the forward estimates from around $40 billion in 2017-18 down to just $23.6 billion in 2020-21. In 2020-21 some 40% of the Government’s entire capital budget will be spent on submarines and frigates rather than on economy-boosting infrastructure.
“The Government has failed to provide either the quantum of funding or a funding model to support a pipeline of projects that will build boost productivity.
“For all the Government’s talk on jobs and growth, the unemployment rate is not projected to fall at all over the next two years. This will continue to mean record levels of under-employment for young Australians.
“The Government has adopted some ‘Greens-lite’ banking revenue and regulatory measures but they are still persisting with giving the banks a massive cut in the company tax rates, and are actively avoiding establishing the much-needed Royal Commission.
“The government has done nothing substantial to tackle the biggest short-term economic risk - over-inflated house prices. We need serious reform, not meddling at the fringes, to calm these risks to the economy.
“The Government clearly see housing as a political problem, rather than as an economic one.
“We welcome that the Government have recognised the need to raise revenue but they continue to shield their oil and gas mates from paying a fair price for Australia’s resources by fixing the broken royalties scheme.