FEDERAL BUDGET 2014 | LABOR REACTION : A cruel con that betrays many

Labor has slammed Joe Hockey’s first budget, labelling it a document of “broken promises, cruel cuts and unfair increases in the cost of living”.

Treasury spokesman Chris Bowen singled out the $80 billion in cuts to education and health for criticism as he warned every family would be hit by new taxes and charges, while pensioners would feel betrayed.

“This is the deceitful, voodoo economics of Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey from before the election catching up with them,” Mr Bowen said.

He said the government’s infrastructure growth package was an “amateur con” and pointed out the small number of new road projects that would be funded by cuts to public transport projects, while families would feel the pain of higher petrol and health costs.

The federal budget had been built on “the destruction of Medicare, and the end of fair and affordable higher education. 

It is a budget built on Tony Abbott’s act of mass deceit at the last election”.

“Tony Abbott said there would be no new taxes and no increase to taxes ... he has broken his promises and now Australians will pay the price,” he said.

“Labor does under-stand that in challenging times, budgets need tough choices. 

“But these are the wrong choices for our future.”

Mr Bowen said the opposition would consider individual budget measures over the coming days, leaving open the prospect of individual measures being supported, but said that unlike the Coalition, Labor would be “guided by what is fair and what is economically responsible”.

Greens leader Christine Milne labelled the budget divisive, brutal and backward-looking and suggested it had been “written in the boardrooms of Australia”.

“Big business is quarantined completely as the community pays,’’ she said.

“There is no vision for the future of the country. Suggesting that you are looking after the next generation, when you are ignoring climate change, when you’re directing infrastructure funding into roads instead of public transport, instead of the NBN, instead of the renewable energy sector.”

Senator Milne said her party would attempt to redirect money that had been allocated to roads to public transport funding when it came to the 

Senate.

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