Unimaginative’ budget full of handouts and no revenue-generating projects

May 9, 2023

KENNEDY MP Bob Katter has labelled the 2023-24 Federal Budget as “unimaginative,” one that robs “Peter to pay Paul” and one that creates no money-making projects.

“It just pulls some money from here and puts it over there,” Mr Katter said.

He said one of the budget’s headline statements was cost-of-living relief, but the measures taken by the government were just band aid fixes.

“So they’re giving out $500 in electricity relief, totalling $3bn, but doing nothing to address the issue long-term.

“That $3bn would go a very long way towards upgrading and converting our sugar mills to produce both enough ethanol for our domestic needs while also supplying significant gigawatts of electricity.

“All the cost-of-living relief measures were just handouts, there were no money-making projects that are going to inject new revenue into the economy and provide real taxation relief and economic support to the most vulnerable.

“Where are the factories that create jobs and wages, where are projects like Hells Gates Dam that would provide irrigation for a large-scale industrial undertaking which would include hydro electricity, grazing land accompanying a meatworks industry, and water for sugarcane for ethanol production.

“The government is pushing electric vehicles, yet we’re importing them and sending the wealth overseas, where’s our manufacturing of EVs that would create jobs and economic prosperity?

“Australia has a real opportunity to become a renewable energy superpower, but this won’t be achieved with an off-shore wind farm and hydrogen trial.”

However, Mr Katter said any cost-of-living relief would quickly be mitigated with the government’s plans to increase the road user tax by about 20 per cent imposed upon the nation’s trucking industry.

“That’s an extra 20 per cent cost rise to all your basic goods, all your groceries, all the inputs for small businesses which are already struggling to stay afloat,” he said.

Mr Katter said he welcomed the additional support in increased Medicare and the increases to the single parent payments which will allow sole parents to earn the payment until their youngest child turns 14.

On housing, Mr Katter said the government continued down the path of increasing demand with handout initiatives, rather than supply.

“The additional rent assistance, just like the home buyer schemes will put more money in pockets and increase the demand, increasing the rent.”

On agriculture he said farmers were the backbone of this country, but the budget provided limited support.

“$1bn to control of pest and disease will do little to compensate rising electricity, transport, fertiliser, wage and packaging costs.

“Overall, it’s a budget really just full of hand outs and does little to establish industry, to establish revenue-generating projects which if invested in correctly by the government would slow inflation and increase wages – two hurdles currently crippling this nation.”