Today’s passing of the Hodgman Liberal Government’s 2017-18 Budget through the Legislative Council is another vital step towards Building Tasmania’s Future.
The Budget puts health front and centre with the biggest ever boost to health in a single budget - $650 million, 106 hospital beds and hundreds of extra staff.
This additional investment will be spread right around the State but will particularly target the Royal Hobart Hospital which is under pressure as a result of increased demand and temporary capacity constraints due to the hospital redevelopment.
Jobs, particularly jobs for young Tasmanians, are also a key focus of the 2017-18 Budget, with a package providing incentives to employers to employ apprentices, trainees and young people.
This Budget will also take action against cost of living pressures. We are capping electricity prices, which will save the average household around $300 on their power bill in the coming 12 months. And, by taking control of TasWater, we’ll deliver lower prices to customers, saving the average household up to $550 over six years.
The smooth passage of the Budget through Parliament further highlights the inexperienced and lazy Labor line-up which still hasn’t produced an alternative budget after nearly four years, went missing in action during Budget Estimates and could barely muster a question on the Budget during the final week of Question Time.
Our balanced Budget, with surpluses across the Forward Estimates for the first time in a decade, gives us flexibility to invest in programs and services that build our economy, create jobs and support the most vulnerable.
The Budget was extremely well received by the business community and the social services sector alike because it is a Budget for all Tasmanians.
It will now be more affordable to build your first home, there is more money for Child Protection, and there are more affordable homes being built.
Our education package includes funding the “full Gonski", $117 million to upgrade our schools and TasTFE, and we’re employing more school staff to help our kids get a better education.
This Budget’s $2 billion investment in infrastructure is spread right around the State in new hospitals, schools, roads, bridges and city revitalisations.
The Hodgman Liberal Government is absolutely committed to keeping the Budget in balance because that means we can continue to invest more in essential services, stimulate the economy and create jobs that will Build Tasmania’s Future.