News

Abbott reveals plans in Budget reply

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott. Lee Constable

OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott has used his Budget reply speech to unveil a bold plan to increase the number of Year 12 students learning a foreign language to 40% within a decade.

Mr Abbott revealed little in the way of detail during his 30-minute speech, instead listing a range of well-known policy priorities.

Chief among those was his intention to repeal the carbon tax.

"Abolishing the carbon tax would make every job in our economy more secure," Mr Abbott told a packed House of Representatives.

His foreign languages policy announcement picked up on the "Asian century" theme used so frequently by the Gillard government.

"We are supposed to be adapting to the Asian century, yet Australians' study of foreign languages, especially Asian languages, is in precipitous decline," he said.

"The proportion of Year 12 students studying a foreign language has dropped from about 40 per cent in the 1960s to about 12 per cent now."

The Opposition Leader accused the Gillard government of playing the "class war card" in Tuesday's Federal Budget.

"It cancels previous commitments to company tax cuts and replaces them with means-tested payments because a drowning government has decided to portray the political contest in this country as billionaires versus battlers," he said.

"It's an ignoble piece of work from an unworthy Prime Minister that will offend the intelligence of the Australian people."

Mr Abbott continued his recent habit of referring to the John Howard government as a "golden era", and said the current government was "too proud" to adopt his polices.

Claiming Treasurer Wayne Swan was suffering "surplus envy", Mr Abbott cast doubt on the projected $1.5 billion surplus contained in the Budget.

"How can the Treasurer be so confident of next year's skinny surplus when this year's deficit, forecast to be $23 billion in last year's budget, has now grown to $44 billion?"

"The forecast surplus relies on the continuation of record terms of trade even though growth in China is moderating and Europe is still in deep trouble.

"Yet on Treasury's own estimates, a decline in the terms of trade of just four per cent would turn the surplus into a $1.9 billion deficit next year and $5.1 billion the year after."

As he has done in numerous recent speeches, he detailed what the first year of an Abbott government would look like.
"On day one, a new government would order the carbon tax repeal and accept Nauru's standing offer to reopen the detention centre," he said.

"Within a week, the navy would have new orders to turn around illegal boats.

"Within a month, the commission of audit would be making government more efficient.

"Within three months, the parliament would be dealing with carbon tax, mining tax and border protection legislation.

"Within a year, national infrastructure priorities would be agreed and there would be more cranes over our cities."

Mr Abbott restated his intention to introduce a paid parental leave scheme, saying it was a "workplace entitlement, not a welfare benefit".

He took aim at the long-term unemployed, vowing to make work-for-the-dole, or something similar, mandatory for people under the age of 50 who are long-time recipients of welfare.

He also said welfare quarantining for long-term unemployed "should be extended from the Northern Territory to the rest of the country".

KEY POINTS

  •  Set target of 40% of Year 12 students taking a language other than English within a decade.
  •  Commitment to paid parental leave scheme.
  •  Repeal carbon and mining taxes.
  •  Create a "once in a generation" commission of audit into size of government
  •  Restore the Australian Building and Construction Commission
  •  Make work-for-the-dole mandatory for long-term unemployed under 50 years of age.
  •  Extend welfare quarantining for long-term unemployed across the country.

Topics:  federal budget 2012 tony abbott



Foodies' scavenger hunt: are you up for it?

IF YOU want to give your tastebuds the flavour sensations of a lifetime, here is the ultimate foodie’s scavenger hunt through Brisbane.

5 minutes with Israel Folau on footy, life and love

Israel Folau and Silver Fern netballer Maria Tutaia announced their engagement last last year.

WE CAUGHT up with football star and Brisbane ex-pat Israel Folau.

10 reasons to head to South Bank this summer

Head to the only inner-city beach in Australia!

South Bank has a ridiculous amount of fun things to do.

Five mammoth events you need in your life

No Caption

BRISBANE isn’t known for doing things by halves…

How to make your child's every dream come true...

Take a dip at South Bank in the inner-city beach.

‘I DON’T want to do fun things, Mum and Dad’… said no child ever!

How to do Eat Street the right way

Know where to start and where to end to avoid a huge food coma before you get to experience all the goodies!

EVERY Friday and Saturday night, Hamilton comes alive.

You can do WHAT in Brisbane?!

Talk about arriving in style! Take your pub crawl to the next level with a helicopter!

BET you didn't know you could do these things in Brisbane...

Traffic gridlock causes extensive Bruce Hwy delays

Heavy congestion on the Bruce Hwy near Beerburrum.

Delays of up to 90 minutes being reported by frustrated motorists

Meet your new doctor

NEW DOCTOR: Dr Afifah Abdul Rahim will start seeing patients this week at the Currajong Clinic in Gin Gin.

From KL to Gin Gin, she loves Aussie country life

'Trying to crush her': Woman's warning after dog vs snake ordeal

Eight-month-old Chia had a terrifying run in with a snake on Saturday night.

A woman shares her snake encounter to warn others.

Local Partners

What's on the small screen this week

Grant Denyer will host Channel 10's Australia Day concert from the Sydney Opera House.

STAR-studded Australia Day celebrations and fascinating docos.

Jennifer Aniston wants to return to TV

Jennifer Aniston is desperate to make a return to TV

Madonna hopes for election unity

Madonna hopes Donald Trump's election will "bring people together"

JK Rowling rules out Cursed Child trilogy

JK Rowling has ruled out a 'Cursed Child' movie trilogy

Buckley's chance in psychological thriller

James McAvoy and Betty Buckley in a scene from the movie Split.

Broadway veteran back on big screen with James McAvoy

Daniel MacPherson: acting’s a bit like channel surfing

Australian actor Daniel MacPherson in a scene from the American TV series APB.

THE Aussie export talks about making his mark in the US.

New Coastline Realty owners have wealth of experience

COASTLINE REALTY: Emma Bauer and Charlie Winten.

Passion, strong local knowledge and a commitment to the local region

Bundaberg market set for "steady growth” in 2017

CoreLogic property statistics reveal the region's median house price dropped 9.6% to $249,000 and the median unit price fell 10.2% to $260,500 in the September quarter.

Region's median house price drops 9.6% to $249,000 in three months

By the water's edge

Secure your seachange

HOT PROPERTY: Money to spend on land, buildings

File picture.

Sale, leasing of industrial real estate picks up in Mackay

Bundy hotel on the market for a cool $8.5m

FOR SALE: The Burnett Riverside Motel has gone on the market, with a price guide of more than $8 million.

Premier hotel up for sale for more than $8m

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!