Member for Western Victoria Region, Bev McArthur referred to the 2019/20 State Budget as divisive.

The Budget sets country against city, children against children and electorate against electorate.

The 2019/20 Budget escalates the debt burden of Victorians to stratospheric heights. The debt is currently $22.8b, in 4 years’ time it will have reached $55b. Debt always has to be paid by someone. In this case, clearly this generation and future generations of Victorians will pay the price for this extravagance.

Country Victorians, especially farmers, will be most adversely affected by the Fire Insurance Levy which has been increased to 10 percent. By 2022/23, it will have increased to 20 percent. This increase is required to pay the new ‘career firefighter services’ which were previously provided by volunteers. The powerful career-only United Firefighter Union is the biggest beneficiary of levies which will be paid for by households and farmers.

Victoria was built on the back of gold miners and these high risk enterprises will now be paying royalties. This mining sector is now on the wave of strong investment but like all Labor governments, if you are ‘having a go’ you’ll get taxed, not rewarded for your risk taking and efforts.

Children in government schools will get ‘free’ dental services and sanitary products but not children in non-government or Catholic schools. This is clearly discriminatory. 

Parents in many rural and remote areas and even in towns and cities make extraordinary sacrifices to use non-government and Catholic parish schools. Frequently there is no choice but to fund your children’s education because the government service is so inadequate.

It is also patently obvious that road and rail funding is significantly directed to those electorates of importance to the government. While the Federal Government allocated funds to roads in Western Victoria, the State Government has failed to match the amount. These roads, as identified by the Princes Highway West Action Alliance are in shocking condition. They are frequently responsible for serious accidents and greatly add to the cost of doing business for our freight companies endeavoring to get valuable produce to market.

Despite promises from Daniel Andrews of ‘no new taxes’ – surprise surprise, there are now 20 new taxes.

Victoria is the highest taxing state in Australia. Land taxes have more than doubled up to 109%. Payroll tax has increased 27% since Labor came to power. Public sector wages have blown out by 42% under this government, but with no discernible beneficial outcomes.

The 2019/20 Budget delivers increased debt, increased taxes, class warfare and division and pits Victorians against Victorians

28 May 2019