South West let down by Albanese budget

The Federal Labor Government’s budget will not fix the cost-of-living pressures facing South West families or the high costs of running a business according to Federal Member for Forrest, Nola Marino.

“The Albanese Government’s spending risks inflation staying higher for longer and its decision to axe the former Coalition’s low-and-middle-income tax offset means around 10 million Australians earning less than $126,000 will be up to $1,500 worse off,” Mrs Marino said.

“The massive increase in migration – 715,000 over the next two years and totalling one and a half million people over five years, will only make our housing, rental and cost-of-living issues even worse than they currently are and add even greater pressure on our health and hospitals sectors.

“Australia’s truck and bus industry will be hit with an extra $1.6 billion in taxes over three years through the increased Heavy Vehicle Road User Charge,” Mrs Marino said.

“On the eve of the Budget, Federal Labor announced that heavy vehicle charges will rise by six per cent each year for the next three years.

“This adds costs to everything grown or manufactured in the South West and destined for markets around Australia and overseas. It also makes everything that has to be transported by trucks into the South West more expensive and adds costs to our transport and logistics businesses” she said.

“Farmers here in the South West also face a new Federal tax to pay for biosecurity risks created by importers of overseas products.

“Our farmers produce some of the best quality food in the world for local people and export markets. They are mostly small or family owned and run businesses dealing with inflation which is significantly increasing their costs of production, and now the Albanese government is adding even more taxes” Mrs Marino said.

“Businesses throughout the South West were able to invest in updating their equipment when the Coalition Government lifted the instant asset write-off threshold to $150,000. The Albanese budget has downgraded that threshold to $20,000, and restricted it to businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million,” she said.

“Local community pharmacies continue to contact me over the Government’s decision to double prescriptions from 30 to 60 days, which threatens to exacerbate shortages of medicines. Pharmacists are also telling me that these changes pose a serious threat to their businesses that could reduce the services they currently provide to our communities, particularly pharmacies that support small regional and rural communities.

“Local community groups will be really disappointed to see the Government has not funded a new round of the Coalition’s very successful Stronger Communities Program, which for years has provided small grants crucial for many of our local volunteer organisations.
“There is also no certainty on the future of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program which enabled local councils to build many important local community projects,“ Mrs Marino said.