RADIO INTERVIEW 2CC, STEPHEN CENATIEMPO BREAKFAST SHOW
WEDNESDAY, 12 MAY 2021
SUBJECTS: Budget 2021
STEPHEN CENATIEMPO , HOST: We're joined now by Andrew Leigh, the Labor member for Fenner. He's also the Shadow Assistant Minister for Treasury and Charities. Andrew, I said to your leader, Anthony Albanese, early this morning that was a very Labor budget last night.
ANDREW LEIGH, SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR TREASURY AND CHARITIES: Well, if you want a real Labor Government you need to elect one, rather than having a government which for many years has been cutting aged care and has now decided it cares about aged care.
CENATIEMPO: There was record spending in aged care. The Government has addressed most of the concerns from the Royal Commission. Most aged care operators are saying that it was a good budget. Moving forward, though, do you think there's enough long term, I guess, foresight, with regards to, particularly, aged care?
LEIGH: Well, it hasn't addressed the concerns the Royal Commission had. To take one example, the Royal Commission said that homes should have 24/7 nurse care and that wasn't funded in the budget. It also doesn't deal with big challenges like climate change, like declining test scores, like rising inequality, like civic disconnection. It doesn't do what Joe Biden's new package has done, which is to use crisis spending as a chance to set the nation up for a better future.
CENATIEMPO: So what should they have done?
LEIGH: They should have addressed the issue of climate change, with proper reforms and investment in renewable energy. That would have created jobs while upgrading our energy market. They should have put in place reforms which saw multinational companies pay their fair share, and they should have cracked down on the rorts we've seen in the JobKeeper scheme - a good scheme, but which saw some $15-20 billion going to firms whose earnings rose, firms like Harvey Norman and Premier Investments that paid executive bonuses and large dividends at a time when small businesses were having to close their doors.
CENATIEMPO: Well, I'm gonna get the opposite view now from your colleague here in ACT, Andrew. Thanks very much for your time.