Jo Haylen has joined Opposition colleagues in branding the the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government’s pre-election budget a con job that builds new stadiums before schools and hospitals, cuts services and plays catch up after eight years of neglect of the health and education systems.
There is no funding for new classrooms in the Summer Hill electorate; no money for desperately needed train station upgrades; and next to no money for infrastructure upgrades to Canterbury Hospital and RPA; yet the Government will begin the demolition and rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium by the end of this year, bringing forward $729 million in the budget for the job.
And, in a move that demonstrates its wrong priorities when it comes to transport, the Government has ignored an Infrastructure NSW recommendation to shift investment westwards.
Rather than plough money into the Metro West fast rail between Parramatta and Sydney’s CBD, it has merely ‘reserved’ $3 billion for it out of a total cost of $16 billion- leaving a $13 billion black hole- preferring to proceed first with its Northern Beaches tunnel.
Despite selling $50 billion worth of public assets net debt is forecast to rise from $0 to $28.7 billion in 2021-22.
And, aside from its gimmicks, the Budget forecasts further pain for families with wage growth downgraded again to an anemic 2 per cent.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill
“Inner west residents are right to be sceptical about this pre-election budget.
“Behind the splashy headlines, there are no new classrooms for our crowded schools, not a cent for the train station upgrades we need, and next nothing for local hospitals and local roads in this Budget.
“The Treasurer is crowing about a $3.9 billion surplus and splash around $2.2 billion on stadiums but is again neglecting the inner west.”
Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley
“This is a Government trying to con its way back into office. The Liberals have committed to funding a stadium this year but many communities will have to wait until 2025 or 2026 for their hospital upgrade.
“A con in education as well. We get an announcement of 170 new and upgraded schools but only 13 of them are actually new.
“A con in TAFE. The Liberals have presided over the gutting of the TAFE system; 175,000 fewer students, over 5,000 staff sacked and yet this Government masquerades as being for TAFE.
“This con is financed by the public through soaring power prices after privatisation and unfair new tolls.
“After neglecting our health and education systems for eight long years, after underfunding our schools, TAFEs and hospitals – suddenly the Liberals have discovered health and education.”
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“After eight years, household budgets have never had it so difficult in NSW.
“Wages growth has been downgraded to two percent and there is no relief in sight for the people of NSW who are being whacked by higher power prices and unfair new tolls.
“This budget continues to put stadiums before schools and hospitals.”