Western Australians should brace for Budget pain next month with Tony Abbott poised to claw back $500 million in public transport funding for Perth.
The funding, allocated in last year’s federal Budget for a passenger rail link to the congested Perth Airport and a light rail system, is about to fall victim to Mr Abbott’s absurd prejudice against public transport.
Perth is one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities and improved public transport will not only improve amenity, but also lift its economic productivity.
Traffic congestion is a hand brake on productivity and therefore an obstacle to jobs growth.
Mr Abbott talks a lot about infrastructure spending but when it comes to Perth, his first Budget will cut spending to a city that needs action on traffic congestion.
On top of this, it seems clear the government is planning savage cuts to health, pensions and the ABC in defiance of Mr Abbott’s specific pre-election promises to the contrary.
Average families will suffer needlessly while Mr Abbott will press ahead with extravagant and unaffordable paid parental leave scheme, under which wealthy women will be paid up to $75,000 to have babies.