Budget 2021: More of the same broken promises, higher rates and failing services


The Labor-Greens Government has delivered more broken promises, more rates & tax increases and more health and education failures in today’s Budget that does not outline a clear vision for our future, said ACT Liberal Leader Elizabeth Lee.

“This Budget again ensures Canberrans pay some of the highest rates and taxes in the country, while delivering a continuing decline in key health, education and transport services not just today, but well into the future,” Ms Lee said.

“This Budget has ambitious growth projections, while delivering four years of deficits that could see Canberra not returning to surplus for more than a decade.”

“While Canberra has performed well during the COVID-19 pandemic, compared to other states and territories, many families and small businesses are still struggling. Slugging them with tax increases in four months’ time will make matters worse.

"Despite promising a rates reprieve, 60,000 Canberrans were hit with rates rises last year, and now they want to increase rates again. Commercial rates will likely continue growing with double-digit increases in 2021-22.

“Despite promising to fix waiting times within 9 months, this Budget embeds the current problems and sees more delays to our hospital infrastructure continue, with the Canberra Hospital Expansion running years behind schedule.

“Approximately 70 schools plagued with hazardous materials continue to be neglected by Labor and the Greens, once again failing to take immediate action to ensure the safety of children and staff in our schools. Instead, there is $17m for more demountables.

“Despite Labor and the Greens’ commitments to deliver more affordable housing, the Budget does not provide any new funding for the 400 affordable houses promised. Further, due to a shortage of land for new homes in the coming years, the Government land supply dividend will go from $289m this year to just $14m in 2022-23. As a result of this, we will see housing and rental affordability further slip away.

“Canberrans deserve much better than what they are getting from this Government and it is clear from the budget handed down today they will continue to get below par government services, broken promises and delays,” Ms Lee concluded.