Labor concern ahead of budget

LABOR is worried that Tasmania will fare badly in tomorrow's  budget, but the Liberals say they have inherited a mess.

State Opposition Leader Bryan Green said Prime Minister Tony Abbott was no friend of Tasmania.

State Opposition Leader Bryan Green

State Opposition Leader Bryan Green

``He promised jobs, but the savage cuts foreshadowed in the federal budget will cost jobs and hurt Tasmanians who can least afford it,'' Mr Green said. 

``Cuts to family tax benefits, increases in fuel prices and a debt levy were not taken to the election. 

``[Premier] Will Hodgman appears to have rolled over and accepted these cruel surprises rather than fighting for disadvantaged Tasmanians.''

He said the Liberals had promised funding for regional diversification projects and infrastructure, including a four-lane Midland Highway.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said Mr Green was the last person in Tasmania who should comment  on unemployment.

He said Tasmania's unemployment and participation rates were the worst in Australia under Labor with Mr Green as deputy premier.

Mr Nikolic said the budget was an important step in restoring Australia's fortunes.  

``Australians will see us keep our principal commitment to repair the budget and to strengthen the economy,'' he said.

``The Commission of Audit report highlighted the challenge ahead, with Labor's unsustainable spending creating $123 billion in cumulative deficits and debt on a trajectory to $667 billion.

``It will be a tough, but responsible and fair budget, with everyone sharing the load in our economic recovery.''

He said Australia had no debt when the Howard Liberal government left office in 2007, but under Labour, the country now paid $1 billion in interest each month.

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