Shorten outlines additional savings and will save Medicare in Budget reply

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has outlined $71 billion in additional budget improvements over the next 10 years and has

Federal Opposition leader Bill Shorten has outlined $71 billion in additional budget improvements over the next 10 years and has pledged to the Australian public that Medicare will be protected by his party in his response to the Federal Budget handed down by treasurer Scott Morrison on Tuesday, May 3.

Shorten’s election-rally like budget reply speech had a simple message. It was that the Australian public can trust Labor with its finances; that it can cut into the waste as well as generate billions of dollars in higher taxes over a decade, but with an election looming there was little detail on just how this could be achieved.

He was quick to criticise the Turnbull Government for its budget earlier in the week saying, “Tax cuts for high income earners — and nothing for families. Not one cent for ordinary working Australians.”

However, Shorten also claimed the Government is “stealing” Labor policies, including tighter concessions on superannuation, tougher action on multinationals, and advocating small business tax cuts.

The framework discussed in his response on Thursday, May 5 included $6 billion spending cut over 10 years, with lower payments to private education companies.

“The markers we set for the future of Australia: jobs, education, Medicare, climate change, affordable housing and fair taxation, equality for women, our belief in young Australians,” Shorten says.


Labor will happily support its own “clear and costed” policy to close the “unsustainably generous” superannuation loopholes at the top end, says Shorten.


Shorten proposed that under a Labor Government Medicare would be safe. He announced that within its first 100 days of Government, should it be elected, it will legislated to protect Medicare.

“Medicare drives economic growth and productivity, keeping us active, healthy and productive at work,” Shorten says. “We will not support the privatisation of the Medicare system. Full stop.”

Additional savings

Other savings include $1.4 billion by repealing the Nationals’ new Baby Bonus; $1 billion by scrapping Direct Action (the Government’s plan to provide financial incentives for polluters to reduce emissions); and redirecting investment into new housing after July 1, 2017 (restricting access to negative gearing), which Shorten says will save $32 billion over the next decade. 

Shorten says preliminary costings from the Parliament Budget Office show $49 billion can be saved by ditching the company tax cut unveiled in the Government’s budget, and he says Labor will only back the cuts for operators with annual turnover below $2 million because “that is what a small business is”.

Finally, Shorten says that under a Labor Government there will not be a plebiscite “dredging up all kinds of harmful prejudice”, which he says will cost Australians $160 million and will instead push to make marriage equality a reality.

How do you think the Labor Government’s response addresses your needs?

  1. Irene Bruschi  

    You said it:-“It was a an election-like rally speech”, “who can trust Labor” and ‘there was little detail on how it could be achieved”
    Need I say more?

    • Paul tozer  

      Its a hell of a lot more than the lnp destruction of our way of life.

  2. liz tant  

    At last someone speaking up for the ordinary person rather than big business.Medicare will be safe. Not perfect of course but at least we can see some future for Australia
    Bill Shorten spoke calmly and in plain English.

  3. Chris oakes  

    It’s the best I’ve seen from Bill. For a long time he maybe getting he’s act together( about time).And has for Medicare .I agree to keep it ,if your used it lately it’s a joke, through it in the box you may get it back but don’t call us because we won’t answer the phone pity help anyone thats not computer savvy.

  4. Ross Theobald  

    The one area we need a CLEAR UNEQUIVOCAL statement from Labor, “Border protection”. I will not vote for any party that does not hold the line like the current Government.
    The notion that politics has to be business Vs Socialist needs to be addressed, why not take care of both ??
    What is it with Australian Governments in their militaristic posturing ??? Military aircraft the latest and greatest and now submarines we dont need and cannot afford ??

    The Mature Age Australia party, here is some common sense, check them out ??

  5. trisha  

    I have always been worried about Liberals plan to dismantle Medicare. We must never follow the US system or many many people will be left out in the cold. So yes I am voting Labor and hope others do as well.

  6. Lynne Highfield  

    To my surprise Bill Shorten’s Reply was almost inspirational! It addressed some of our concerns although we still need more detail about funding – but he spoke better than Turnbull and even injected some humour.

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