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Unemployed: the forgotten people in budget.

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Senator Natasha Stott Despoja Parliamentary Leader and Senator for South Australia Australian Democrats spokesperson for Treasury

Press Release Dated: 24 May 2001 Press Release Number: 01/310B Portfolio: Treasury 

Unemployed - the forgotten people in Budget The Leader of the Australian Democrats, Senator Natasha Stott Despoja, has urged Australians to consider whether they, their children and grandchildren will be better off under the Federal Government’s 2001 Budget.

In the Democrats’ Budget-Address-in-Reply, Senator Stott Despoja said Australians need to ask how much their vote is worth.

She urged the Government to examine the impact the Budget has had on the triple bottom line - not just the economic, but the social and environmental outcomes.

“The Australian Democrats believe the 2001 Federal Budget contains a few, mostly small, initiatives to be commended, a number of which we either called for, secured in negotiation or amended in the Parliament.

“There are aspects to be condemned, but what is of particular concern is what is missing and who was forgotten. There was no vision, unless you count a fiscal surplus fuelled fantasy of winning back votes.”

Senator Stott Despoja said the greatest failing of the Budget was on job creation. “This Budget forecasts a rise in unemployment and it does not deliver on job creation.

She also highlighted education, environment and health as areas that were not adequately addressed.

“These are areas that you invest in now and the long term returns are priceless.”

“Where were the major initiatives that would make for a better Australia 30 years or even 50

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years from now?” asked Senator Stott Despoja.

On the Government’s promised welfare reform, Senator Stott Despoja said the Government had let the community down. “We were told it would be a Budget centrepiece, instead welfare reform turned out to be a footnote.

“The Minister for Employment, Tony Abbott, has boasted that this Budget abolishes passive welfare. Well this Budget certainly reinforces passive job creation.

“Much is made of the need to leave future generations debt free, but what about leaving them an inheritance? A good education, good health, solid infrastructure and clean environment are the endowments future generations will need and this Budget did little to secure any of them,” said Senator Stott Despoja.


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