Feds talk budget spends

Federal Member for Blair welcomed the announcements from the 2024 Federal Budget, including funding for various infrastructure projects. Picture: SHAYNE NEUMANN

The Federal Government released its 2024 Budget on Tuesday, 14 May, with a sweep of announcements including tax cuts, infrastructure upgrades, a $300 energy bill rebate, a boost to Medicare, cheaper prescriptions, more home care packages for the elderly, HECS support, Future Drought Fund programs, road safety, housing and better wifi for regional areas.

The Budget promised reduce income tax rates, a $300 energy bill rebate, a boost to Medicare, cheaper prescriptions, more home care packages for the elderly, more housing, improved student support and better wifi for regional areas.

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann welcomed the announcements.

“This is a Budget that provides cost of living relief, but also supports much-needed housing and infrastructure, and sets our region up for future growth,” he said.

“There are tax cuts for every single taxpayer in Blair, not just some.”

Mr Neumann said residents can expect an average tax cut of $1,380, and 90 per cent of taxpayers would be better off.

“Cutting taxes for middle Australia is a central part of the Government’s economic plan – along with getting wages moving again, bringing inflation under control and driving fairer prices for Australian consumers,” he said.

“This will put more cash back into people’s pockets when they need it most.”

Infrastructure announcements for Blair included $134.5 million for the Warrego Highway – Mount Crosby Road Interchange upgrade, $42.5 million to fix the Bremer River Bridge and an additional $1.5 million for the Cunningham Highway – Safety Package.

The Federal Government also announced $519.1 million in Future Drought Fund programs to help farmers and regional communities like the Lockyer Valley Somerset region prepare for the next drought and build climate resilience, with programs to become available from 1 July, 2024.

Federal Member for Wright Scott Buchholz said the Budget was ‘a big spending budget with all the wrong priorities’.

“In every budget, people in my electorate want to know what is in it for them” Mr Buchholz said.

“This budget has a lot for Green Hydrogen, big business handouts, and a $1 billion American Quantum computer, however, for the rest of us, it is a pea and cup trick, with the Labor Government taking more out of your pocket then they are putting back in.”

“Instead of restoring budget discipline, Labor has added $315 billion of new spending on the wrong priorities, at a time when we need restraint.”

Mr Buchholz said Australians needed a ‘ back-to-basics economic agenda that only a Coalition Government can deliver’.

“Despite all the spin from the Prime Minister and the Treasurer, Labor’s Budget confirms that Australian families and businesses are not a priority for the Albanese Government,” Mr Buchholz said.

Other significant budget announcements included:

$3 billion wiped from student HECS debt across the country

$161.3 million over four years to establish the National Firearms Register

$18.6 million over five years for changes to the Carer Payment so recipients will be able to work 100 hours over a four week period rather than the 25 hour per week current limit

$319.50 per week payments to around 68,000 eligible higher education students and over 5,000 VET students each year during their clinical and professional placement periods from July 1 2025

$90.6 million to boost the number of skilled workers in the construction and housing sector

$21 million in the National Road Safety Data Hub

$1 billion for social and emergency housing to support women and children escaping domestic violence

$765 billion over 10 years towards strengthening defence force capabilities