Bill Shorten Drops His Budget Reply, Claims Massive Savings

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has offered his reply to Treasurer Scott Morrison’s Federal Budget last night, claiming he can pull out an impressive $71 billion worth of savings over ten years if elected.

Slamming the Turnbull Government’s “millionaires Budget” for it’s overly generous tax cuts for big business, Mr Shorten made it clear that a Labor Government would be backing the little guy.

“By contrast, this Budget punishes people who can’t afford it and rewards those who don’t need it,” he said during his speech last night.

The opposition leader claims the bulk of his savings will come from limiting negative gearing to new property from July next year. This measure would cut $32 billion from the Federal Budget over the decade. Other savings include maintaining the 2 per cent deficit reduction levy for those earning over $180,000, as well as $6 billion in cuts to student loans for private colleges by capping them at $8,000.

Health and education looks to be the crux of Labor policy moving forward.

“The markers we set for the future of Australia: jobs, education, Medicare, climate change, affordable housing and fair taxation, equality for women, our belief in young Australians,” said Mr Shorten.

He then attacked the Turnbull Government’s plans to cut tax on big companies, but maintains that they will continue to support small business.

“Labor will support a tax cut for small business – but unlike the Prime Minister – we will not use this as camouflage for a massive tax cut to big multinationals,” he said, going on to claim that the plan would slug taxpayers $49 billion over ten years.

Responding to allegations of engaging in ‘class warfare’, Shorten hit back. “It is not ‘class war’ to disagree with cutting money from families on fifty and sixty thousand dollars in order to give millionaires a tax break.”

With the last few elections offering little difference in policy between the parties, it’s refreshing to see Labor distinguish themselves from the Coalition.

As we move on to the election, Labor is in a good position to capitalise on the issues that are causing much angst, particularly housing affordability, climate change and university deregulation, all of which were ignored in Tuesday’s Budget. How it will pan out is anyone’s guess at this stage, but we’ll be watching closely.