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Thursday, May 20

CTU: Budget fundamentally unfair

The CTU says that no amount of explanations and lofty visions around  economic growth can mask the fundamental unfairness of this Budget.

Dr. Bill Rosenberg, CTU Economist, said: "Someone on the minimum wage of  $26,520 gets an extra $4.13 a week but someone on four times the minimum wage or $106,080 gets an extra $43.08 a week. Their tax cut is 10 times more than the worker on the minimum wage."

"Even worse, someone on ten times the minimum wage gets a tax cut of $153.92 a week, which is around $150 more a week than the person trying to get by on the minimum wage."

The Budget has forecast annual inflation to hit 5.9 percent by March 2011,partly as a result of the rise in GST, so those on low and middle incomes will be facing even harder times by then.

There are many other issues of concern in the Budget - the reduced  allocation for health spending, the cuts in early childhood education and the fact that total education spending has not even kept up with the rate of inflation.

The CTU does however welcome greater funding for employment assistance  and the extension of the Job Ops Scheme. We called for the Government to do this but note our concern that Community Max has not also been extended.