ANTHONY ALBANESE MP
LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY
MEMBER FOR GRAYNDLER
WEDNESDAY, 7 OCTOBER 2020
SUBJECT: Federal Budget.
DAVID KOCH, HOST: Opposition Leader, Anthony Albanese, joins me now from Canberra. Thanks for your time. Let’s start with the positive. What do you like about this Budget?
ANTHONY ALBANESE, LEADER OF THE AUSTRALIAN LABOR PARTY: I like the mental health support that’s there. That is something that we have been calling for. I like some of the additional funding for local government in terms of what they can use for roads. Because they will employ locals and they will also use local suppliers. The fixing of roundabouts, fixing blackspots, that can be done immediately.
KOCH: What don’t you like about it? What is the Budget lacking?
ALBANESE: What the Budget is lacking is an overall comprehensive jobs plan that just is not there. It is also leaving too many people behind. If you are over the age of 35, you will lose your wage subsidy in March. If you then go onto unemployment benefits, you are back to $40 a day that the Government needs to acknowledge puts you right into poverty and you’ll be competing for a job with someone under 35 who is being subsidised for work. If you are over 35, you miss out on this Budget. If you are a woman, half the population, it has been acknowledged by the Government that women are being particularly adversely affected by the pandemic and under the Morrison Recession, but there is nothing really there to support you. And it is almost like it was an afterthought. ‘Oh, we will do a women’s economic statement, throw it into the speech’. This is a grab bag of headlines but there is no comprehensive plan. What’s more, we are talking about a trillion-dollar debt, but what would be the lasting legacy? Where is the big reform as part of coming out of this crisis stronger? There is nothing really there. We had compulsory superannuation come out of the recession that occurred under Paul Keating that was really beefed up. There is nothing there in terms of reforms.
KOCH: They are focusing on those six to eight industries. For not having a jobs plan, they are spending a lot on jobs.
ALBANESE: They are spending a lot, but we will look at the quality of the spend. This is a Government that played $33 million for a block of land around Badgerys Creek that was worth three. We know about Sports Rorts and the women’s sporting grants. This Government set up a whole lot of pots of money in this Budget that are up to ministerial discretion and we are concerned about that. And we are concerned, in terms of the industries that have been identified, Kochie, they came out of a 2012 manufacturing taskforce under the former Labor Government. This Government came in, abolished it and didn’t do any work on the manufacturing strategy that had been established. Indeed, one of the first things they did was they dared the car industry to leave the country. That cost tens of thousands of jobs and had an ongoing effect in terms of decimating manufacturing.
KOCH: Okay. Anthony Albanese, appreciate your time. Thank you.
ALBANESE: Thanks, Kochie.