Media Release: 2013 Budget Fails Australia. Gross Debt To Hit $300 billion by 2015

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, a non-partisan grassroots advocacy body representing the interests of Australian taxpayers, today condemned the 2013 Federal Budget for failing to make the tough decisions needed to restart our economy and give relief to struggling Australians.

“Wayne Swan has taken the coward’s way out said Tim Andrews, Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance. “He has failed to make the tough decisions we desperately need to cut waste, cut overspending, and get our economy back on track

“Under this budget, gross debt will reach a staggering $300 billion by 2015. This will mean a whopping $35 million in interest payments every single day – even more if we lose our credit rating. This is not only an economic disaster, it is a morally reprehensible betrayal of future generations who will bear the brunt of this policy failure.

“Taxes have increased by $25 billion in the last year. For Wayne Swan’s budget to put us on the path for another increase in the debt ceiling is unforgivable. Australia is on the highway headed to a European-style fiscal collapse, and Mr Swan just has put his foot flat on the accelerator.

“Mr Swan was right to axe the baby bonus and trim carbon funds and the public service - but it is too little, too late. Overspending remains rife, our bureaucracy is out of control and rampant crony capitalist corporate welfare - from subsidies to General Motors to make cars no-one wants to buy, to $4million for Vodafone to expand a call centre in Tasmania - remains unchecked.

“Since coming to power in 2007, the Australian Labor Party has hiked taxes a staggering 29 times to pay for wasteful spending. To now hike the Medicare Levy –a dishonest, regressive increase in the income tax – to pay for even more overspending will hurt lower income earners hardest, slow economic growth and kill jobs.

“In pretending a surplus will appear in the future, Wayne Swan is trying to play Australians for mugs. The projected ‘surplus’ is based on dodgy methodology and flawed assumptions no-one with any understanding of economics could say with a straight face. The mining tax won’t somehow magically increase from $200m to $2.2b, the terms of trade won’t increase 20%, and the world carbon price won’t double overnight. We won’t be fooled again.

“If the government was serious about jobs and growth, they would cut spending, cut taxes, and cut regulation. Mr Swan has shown the only thing he is serious about is his addiction to debt.

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