Budget | May 08, 2024

Labor’s brutal budget fails to deliver

Lowan residents will continue to pay the price for the Allan Labor Government’s failure to manage money and the state’s increasing debt levels, with this week’s State Budget abandoning previous commitments for schools and neglecting funding for crucial road upgrades.  

Member for Lowan and Deputy Leader of the Nationals Emma Kealy said upgrades to Edenhope College and Stawell West Primary School were among 29 education projects across the state that Labor committed to during the 2022 election which, in yet another broken promise by Labor, remain unfunded after yesterday’s budget.

Labor also failed to announce any funding for the Western Highway duplication from Buangor to Stawell, despite significant safety issues with the highway surface and numerous incidents.

The Buangor to Ararat section was due to be completed more than eight years ago, yet Labor have failed to allocate a single dollar to the project for 10 consecutive budgets.

Overall road maintenance funding in the 24-25 budget was 16 per cent less than five years ago, meaning Victorians will be forced to drive on pot-hole riddled roads with crumbing edges that are only going to get much more dangerous.

Ms Kealy said household bills would soar under Labor through a substantial increase in the fire service property levy and bin tax, while residents will also face increases to land tax, stamp duty and payroll tax.

“This is a brutal budget that disregards the cost-of-living crisis and will only make it more difficult for hardworking Victorians,” she said.

“We have seen ongoing financial mismanagement and consistent cost blowouts on metropolitan projects by consecutive Labor governments, and local people will pay for those Melbourne project blowouts through increased fees and charges.

“But Victorians will be getting less for their money, because Labor is stalling on vital road upgrades and infrastructure projects in regional Victoria, and has also slashed agriculture funding by almost 30 per cent in the past two years.

“Instead of acknowledging Labor’s critical failures, the Treasurer chose to deflect and blame ‘world challenges’ – conveniently ignoring the fact no other Australian state is in the appalling financial position Victoria is, with a daily interest bill alone of $15 million.

“This interest that Labor is paying on its huge debt could fund 15 kilometres of road upgrades every single day.

"Instead, Labor are throwing away this taxpayer money to the big banks’ interest payments. It's further evidence that Victorians are paying more but getting much less under Labor.

“The Allan Labor Government can’t manage money, can't manage projects, and regional Victorians are continuing to pay the price.”

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