Brutal budget will hit Canberra hard

Hear more from the Greens in the Canberra Times and Riot Act coverage of this story.

The Greens have condemned the Turnbull Government’s budget, which will protect big polluters and the top end of town while slugging the people of Canberra.

“This budget will hit Canberra hard, with more cuts to the public service and big hits to our local economy,” said ACT Greens senate candidate Christina Hobbs.

“Much of the Canberra community will be outraged that this budget will further cut the public service by $1.4 billion. That is on top of 18,000 public service job cuts since the Liberals came to office in 2013.

“These new cuts are short-sighted and can only hurt critical front-line services. We already know that one in three calls to Medicare, Centrelink, and child support agencies go unanswered. These cuts will make those problems worse and put staff under even more pressure.

“At the same time, we’re seeing cuts to company taxes, tax breaks for high-income earners and continued handouts to big polluters. That is completely out of step with the values and priorities of Canberrans,” said Ms Hobbs.

Ms Hobbs said that local jobs, Canberra-based national institutions and services are also on the Liberals’ hit list.

“The Liberals are pushing ahead with million of dollars in cuts to Canberra’s cultural institutions. That means more skilled Canberrans will be losing their jobs in the next year.

“Cultural institutions are a vital part of our society and the ACT economy and tourism industry – they should be supported and strengthened, not crippled and eroded.”
Ms Hobbs has reissued her call on Liberal Senator Zed Seselja to stand up to his colleagues and fight for Canberra.

“Tony Abbott’s finger prints are all over this budget – Malcolm Turnbull has kept billions of dollars in cuts from the first Abbott budget and hung onto his denialist climate policies.

“How can Mr Seselja and his colleagues claim to care about ‘jobs and growth’ while they make such brutal cuts to Canberra’s economy?

“This is a terrible budget for Canberra. The people of Canberra have every right to be angry about it. This is just the latest attack on Canberra by a Government that has shown disdain for our city. We’ve been hearing months of reports about cuts, privatisation and outsourcing ahead of this budget and Zed Seselja has been nowhere to be seen.

“Thankfully Canberra has an opportunity to vote against these cuts. On May 2, I’ll be putting the Liberals where they've put Canberra – last.”

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