Thursday, May 16, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Willcox Slams Budget As Rubbish For Dawson

As the nation eagerly awaited Treasurer Jim Chalmers' budget address on Tuesday evening, anticipation mounted over the proposed measures to alleviate the economic strain gripping Australian households. The Federal Budget unveiled a multifaceted approach aimed at easing the burden of cost-of-living pressures while steering the country towards financial stability and prosperity.
At the heart of the budgetary agenda was meant to be a resolute commitment to provide "responsible relief" to Australian households grappling with escalating expenses. Treasurer Chalmers underscored the imperative of striking a balance between fiscal prudence and compassionate support, setting the stage for a budget focused on delivering tangible benefits to everyday Australians.
Central to the government's strategy was the announcement of a $9.3 billion surplus for the 2023/24 financial year, marking a significant milestone in Australia's economic trajectory. This surplus was noted as the first of its kind in nearly two decades.
In addressing rising electricity costs, each Australian household will receive $300 off their power bills, paid in $75 quarterly credits, from July 1. In combination with the State Government’s $1,000 lump sum, this means Queenslanders will receive a total of $1,300 over the next year.
The stage three tax cuts were a focal point of the budget, providing relief across all income brackets. Effective from July 1, the tax rate for the 19% bracket will decrease to 16%, while the 32.5% bracket will be lowered to 30%. Additionally, income thresholds for the two highest tax brackets will be raised. On average, taxpayers can expect a $1,888 tax cut or $36 per week in the 2024-25 fiscal year.
In a scathing assessment of the budget, Federal Member for Dawson, Andrew Willcox, has lambasted the government for what he said is as a blatant disregard for regional Australia, particularly the Dawson electorate. Willcox asserts that the budget has failed to allocate adequate funding for essential infrastructure projects crucial for the region's growth and prosperity.
“To say that I am totally underwhelmed would be the understatement of the century. Not once was Dawson mentioned in the budget. Nowhere in my electorate of Dawson was mentioned within this Budget,” Mr Willcox said.
“The Prime Minister said when he was elected two years ago, ‘no one would be held back, no one would be left behind’, but that’s only if you live in a capital city and not in Dawson,” he added.
“This year’s Budget has demonstrated again that not only has regional Australia had critical infrastructure ripped away, but will also bear the cost of higher mortgages, higher energy bills and higher food prices.
“Regional families will feel the pain in their wallets. Under Labor, regional Australians in Dawson are poorer and being hit with higher taxes, higher mortgage repayments and higher grocery and energy bills.”

He said that Labor spent $1.6 billion less on road and rail projects this year than it promised just five months ago in its Mid-Year Economic Fiscal Outlook.

“The Prime Minister and his Treasurer promised that this budget would be the “budget for the Bruce,” but disappointingly, the most dangerous section of the Bruce has been left out of this budget completely, with the $467 million promised just days ago going to the Southeast corner.

“Dawson has been betrayed in this Budget.”

Andrew Willcox, Federal Member for Dawson, holds up the budget with disdain, labelling it as nothing short of rubbish, highlighting a disregard for regional Australia and the Dawson electorate. Photo supplied

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