Treasurer Joe Hockey’s budget is a cocktail of delusion and cynical politics, as the Federal Government attempts vainly to reconcile outdated ideological aims with the strategic goal of re-election, according to the Electrical Trades Union.
The union singled out the area of vocational education and training, saying the 2015 budget had continued to undermine the nation’s long term prosperity following a billion dollars in cuts last year.
“This was a missed opportunity to set Australia on the right path and reverse the brutal VET cuts we saw last year,” ETU assistant national secretary David Mier said.
“In last year’s budget, we saw a billion dollars ripped out of vocational education and training in this country.
“We lost the successful Tools for your Trade program, apprentice mentoring and support initiatives, and a many more VET programs.
“They were replaced with a loan scheme and a series of private tenders out to a VET industry rife with cowboy operators trying to make a quick buck.
“And rather than re-investing in Australia’s future, the government has tonight handed a $5 billion tax cut to business.
“The only things this government is investing in are future skills shortages and higher unemployment.
The union also highlighted the retention of the controversial asset recycling fund as another triumph of ideology over common sense.
“The lack of funding for new infrastructure in this budget is disappointing and short-sighted in the extreme,” Mr Mier said.
“Rather than funding new infrastructure and services, he government is determined to push the states into selling off their existing utilities and infrastructure through their asset recycling program.
“The notion that you would take funds earmarked for investment in education, then dangle them in front of the states as an incentive to hock their vital utilities is nothing short of economic vandalism.
“The Liberal National coalition have already seen a first term government turfed out due to this policy, with Queenslanders giving Campbell Newman the boot for trying to sell their power assets.
“Next it looks like they’re going to do the same in Western Australia. If was I Colin Barnett beginning I’d be very nervous.”