Labor’s Budget fails to stem Victoria’s jobs crisis

Today’s Labor state budget has failed to address Victoria’s jobs crisis and deliver immediate jobs. Under Labor, the majority of those without a job today are likely to remain without one for at least three years.

This is in addition to eyewatering debt levels to pay for Labor’s budget blowouts on bungled major projects.

Despite the record spending and debt for projects that are not due to start for some years, the unemployment rate dial will barely move.

The majority of infrastructure projects will not start for some time. The quarter of a million Victorians without a job need projects that will create jobs urgently.

In a blatant coverup, the Andrews Labor Government refused to publish the State’s Capital Program, a list of infrastructure projects with timelines and project costs, including cost blowouts. This key document was originally introduced by the Liberal Nationals in the May 2011 budget to ensure proper accountability and transparency for all Victorians and had been reported each year up until this budget.  

There’s at least $100 billion in new debt yet only $8.2 billion identified in new infrastructure spending.

Over the next four years, interest payments alone will blow out to $4 billion a year – equivalent to building four Royal Children’s Hospitals every year.

Public sector wages have blown out by a massive 14.4 per cent since 2019-20 with taxpayers slugged a further $6.1 billion in public sector wages over the next four years.

The New South Wales budget delivered double the tax relief, which is what states can do when their governments haven’t blown the budget.

Women have largely missed out with just 6,000 of the 146,500 women unemployed receiving any direct assistance.

Victorian school students seeking mental health support have been given a token $14 million next year while small businesses that do not employ extra staff will receive no benefit.

The budget confirms the Andrews Labor Government has no plan to address our biggest jobs crisis in a generation. With all the spending, debt and waste there are still not enough jobs to get those Victorians who have lost their jobs back to work.

Only the Liberal Nationals have a positive plan to get Victoria back to work and back in business.

Comments attributable to the Leader of the Opposition, Michael O’Brien:

“Labor’s budget has run up the white flag on jobs with Victoria’s unemployment to remain higher than the national average for each of the next four years.

“One in five Victorians currently are out of work or underemployed. Despite the big taxing, big borrowing and big spending budget, our jobs crisis is set to continue.

“We need to revive our economy. Small business is the jobs engine of Victoria but it has been left out in the cold by Labor’s budget.

“True to form, Daniel Andrews’ arrogance has got the better of him by covering up project cost and timeline blowouts by simply deleting them from the budget papers.

“Daniel Andrews thinks he can throw other people’s money around to make up for the devastation caused by his second wave lockdowns. Victorians need jobs today, small businesses need the burden of taxes and charges to be lifted, but neither have been delivered in this budget.”

Comments attributable to the Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Victorians need projects that are for now, not for years down the track.

“When Victoria is in its worst jobs crisis in a generation, urgent action must be taken. This is a budget full of spending taxpayer money and weak on job creation or getting projects up and running now.

“The Andrews Labor Government has turned its back on women, youth and small businesses in this budget, those who are in the most need.”

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