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Tuesday, 13 May 2014
Page: 2479


Senator POLLEY (Tasmania) (20:07): So here we are tonight on budget day and we have just heard the disastrous budget that we all thought was going to be evident finally delivered tonight. Shame on those on the opposite side. It has reflected what we have come to expect from the government. That is they are out of touch and they are quite heartless. This budget is short-sighted, cynical and devoid of any vision. It is a cruel budget. It is a budget that will put family budgets under more pressure.

Sadly, the Australian people have been conned and manipulated by Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey. They did what they needed to do to get into power. They said whatever it took to get them elected. They deliberately deceived the Australian community. Not one Australian voted for a GP tax. Not one Australian voted for any change to those people on disability or pensions. Not one Australian voted for higher petrol prices. It is the coalition's dream budget but it is Australia's nightmare.

There is not time this evening for me to spell out the failures of the logic that has informed the Treasurer's budget. There would not be enough time even if I spoke till sunrise. So instead, I will focus on just several aspects of this budget of horrors. Primarily, this is a budget of broken promises. Our Prime Minister promised that no new taxes would be introduced if he were handed control of the country. In fact, it informed part of a repetitious mantra that he took around the country with him prior to the last federal election. Yet here we are tonight, witnessing that he in fact has not only introduced a deficit tax but a deceitful fuel tax. We can see that in the short, medium and long term, families here in Australia are going to suffer the consequences and so will our economy.

Can I just remind you that in a doorstop interview of March 2012 our Prime Minister promised, and I quote, 'What you get under us are tax cuts without new taxes.' Well, he deceived the Australian community. Later that year in November he repeated this unequivocal message saying: 'We are about reducing taxes, not increasing taxes. We are about getting rid of taxes, not imposing new taxes.' Tomorrow morning the Australian community will wake up and find that they have been deceived. The coalition will claim that these were general comments made well before the federal election, but of course, those public comments are really only the beginning. He said in February last year, 'I absolutely guarantee'—that is right, he said, 'I absolutely guarantee to the Australian people that the tax burden will be less under a coalition government.' The people of Australia will wake up tomorrow and find that that has been a lie.

It is a fundamental breach of the trust of our Prime Minister 'New Tax Tony'. It is something that the coalition promised us they would never do. During the coalition's campaign launch speech on 25 August last year the now Prime Minister said the following:

Over the next three years, should we win the election an incoming coalition government will do exactly what we have said we would do. We will be a no surprises, no excuses government.

They have breached that election commitment over and over and over with the Treasurer's budget speech tonight. He has broken his word. It is as simple as that. Perhaps the Australian people should remind him of some of the sanctimonious nonsense comments he directed at former Prime Minister Julia Gillard in recent years. Perhaps we should ask Mr Abbott to make an honest man of himself.

In my own area of responsibility of aged care, those Australians working in the aged-care sector have been let down again by this government. Shame on you. There is nothing there for those hardworking Australians who work in aged care. Shame. I see on the other side, and I ask Senator Fierravanti-Wells—no wonder she is hanging her head in shame. It is shameful what this government has done to the aged-care sector—

Government senators interjecting

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order!

Senator POLLEY: and those hardworking Australians that work in that sector.

Senator Fierravanti-Wells: Do not come in here with your sanctimonious—

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT: Order!

Senator POLLEY: As always, those on the other side talk a lot— (Time expired)