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Kristie Johnston – Initial Comment on the State Budget

In the Treasurer’s Budget Speech, he states that we must “consider every expense, live within our means and avoid adding to the inflation burden felt by Tasmanian households”.  This is in stark contrast to his Government basically signing a blank cheque with the AFL which will potentially cripple the state’s economy for years to come. 

For a state with one of the country’s highest inflation rates, this budget gives token gestures to the most vulnerable sections of our community, and is little comfort to those who need help the most. 

Interestingly, it also appears there are budget allocations that are simply recycled commitments from the 2022 budget and budgets before that.

This budget is of little help to the real Tasmanians I see in my Electorate Office who struggle each and every day just to survive.  These people are being left behind because of our Government’s skewed priorities.  They deserve better.

People such as:

  • The young mum escaping domestic violence who is sleeping on a couch with her children because all of Hobart’s women’s shelters are full.
  • The elderly man who was left on a stretcher for 60 hours in the Royal Hobart Hospital’s Emergency with a shattered shoulder because a bed just wasn’t available.
  • The little boy with ADHD who desperately wants to learn, fit in and be the best he can at school, but there is a 4-5 year wait for a paediatrician at the Royal Hobart Hospital and private practices aren’t accepting new patients.
  • The disability pensioner who is going without essential medication and treatment because she can’t find a GP who will bulk-bill.

This budget is big on general promises but it is scant on detail when it comes to actually implementing these grandiose ideas.  Given this Government’s track record of failing to deliver on infrastructure, the snail’s pace that they implement reform or new initiatives, and the recycling of old budget announcements you have to wonder if half of these budget allocations will ever see the light of day.

I say bring on Budget Estimates and the chance to interrogate this ‘more of the same with new pictures’ budget.

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