A Clear Plan to Get Australia Back on Track – Abbott’s Budget Reply 2011

“Tony Abbott set out a clear plan to get Australia back on track,” Ross Vasta, Federal Member for Bonner, said today.

“Australia’s forgotten families need relief from rising cost of living pressures, new taxes and wasteful government spending to take unnecessary upward pressure off interest rates.”

“Every household in Bonner facing these cost pressures will understand why this government should live within its means and avoid doing harm to small businesses and the legions of workers who are the backbone of our economy.”

“Families in Bonner know that since Labor was elected, electricity prices are up 51 per cent, gas up 30 per cent and water up 46 per cent. Education costs have risen 24 per cent, health 20 per cent and rent 21 per cent. Grocery prices are up 14 per cent.”

“A $26-a-tonne carbon tax will add 25 per cent more to electricity bills and 6.5 cents a litre more to fuel bills that are already skyrocketing.”

“In four budgets Federal Labor has turned a $20 billion surplus into a $50 billion deficit and $70 billion in net assets into $107 billion of debt. This Government is still borrowing $135 million every single day.”

“The Federal Coalition is fully aware of these growing cost pressures and is committed to bringing the Government to account and keeping unnecessary spending and costs down to ease the burden on families and Australian business.”

“The Coalition will oppose the carbon tax in Opposition and repeal it in Government.”

“To help families we’ll increase the education tax rebate for all families to $500 a year for primary and $1000 a year for secondary students and make it available for all expenses connected with education including school and sports fees,” said Mr Vasta.

“The Coalition will protect the private health insurance rebate which Labor and the Greens have committed to cut back.”

“To boost support for business a Coalition Government will cut regulatory costs by at least $1 billion per year and will make the promised ‘one in one out’ commitment of the current Government a reality. At the latest count Labor has introduced 220 new regulations for each one it has repealed.”

“Labor has proposed a scheme to swap 800 boat people in Australia for 4000 of Malaysia’s arrivals at a cost of nearly $70,000 a person or more than ten times the cost of a Sydney-Kuala Lumpur first class air ticket.”

“The Prime Minister should introduce the Howard policies that stopped the boats by picking up the phone to the president of Nauru to re-establish the Australian-built offshore processing centre. The Government should also introduce mandatory ten year minimum sentences for repeat people smugglers. In government, the Coalition will again stop the boats,” said Mr Vasta.

“This is a Government that lacks legitimacy. It was elected on a promise not to have a carbon tax and then promptly broke that promise.”

“Labor and the Greens should finalise the details of the carbon tax including its impact on jobs, industry and the cost of living and then take it to an election.”

“Only an election which makes an honest politician of this Prime Minister can give Australia a government with authority to make the tough decisions needed to build a better Australia,” said Ross Vasta.

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