Last night Bill Shorten delivered his 2015 Budget speech in reply to the Budget shared by Joe Hockey just two nights prior. A well-read speech that was probably longer than Mr Hockey’s, it did a lot in revealing exactly what he perceived as “wrong” with the Liberal budget. But in doing this, he seemed to hide the strategic economic plan he was bringing to the table. So today we want to know, do you think Shorten delivered an alternative budget? And is it one you’d actually vote for?
The first 12 minutes at least were spent on explaining why the Liberal budget is bad. In fact, he actually said, “Yes Madam Speaker, it is a bad budget”. The speech was very well delivered and at some points, pulled at the heartstrings by referring to his mother who he called “one of the best” teachers when he explained their funding plans to education. He then had the very noisy gallery laughing as he declared that the ‘have a go’ budget “doesn’t even have a go at apologising for the last budget!”
The majority of his speech was spent on stating that this years’ Liberal budget was last years’ cosmetically disguised but in amongst the strong critiques the following spending measures were announced;
Write off the HECS debt of 100,000 science, technology and maths students
Boost the skills of 25,000 primary secondary teachers
Train 25,000 new teachers in this field
Create a $500 million Smart Investment Fund to fund Australian start up companies
Make digital technologies, computer science and computer coding compulsory across all schools as part of the curriculum
Spend $353 million on a jobs plan
Give small business a 5% tax cut bringing it down to 25%
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These are all great measures and he gave his support to the Liberal Government for the small business tax breaks – however there was one very important thing missing… How is he going to fund all of this?
There was no mention of savings methods and in the lead up to the budget the only two discussed and shared publicly were cutting superannuation tax concessions and tightening legislation around multi-national companies avoiding tax.
His speech provided a lot of aspiration, positive and very beneficial measures but it didn’t seem to explain how they’ll be funded or at what cost these could be implemented.
It was an interesting budget reply. One filled with passion and commitment but as a country, we have to ask the question, is it a strong enough budget filled with strong enough economic policies to actually win our vote? Share your thoughts in the comments below…