Budget `good, bad and ugly'

TREASURER Peter Gutwein says the federal budget contains ``the  good, the bad and the ugly'' but the state government remains reluctant to lash out at the Commonwealth as strongly as other states.

In a surprise to the states, Tuesday's tough budget unveiled plans to shift the cost burden of running hospitals and schools on to the states from 2017.

Federal Labor finance spokesman Tony Burke was in Hobart yesterday to attend a pensioners forum and said he was pleased that   New South Wales Premier Michael Baird had taken a strong stand against the plans, which will rip $80 billion over 10 years out of health and education.

``I can't believe the silence I've heard from Tasmania,'' Mr Burke said.  

Mr Burke said a pensioner would lose $1560 each year due to the impact of the change of indexation. 

``It's a broken promise that's going to hurt them and hurt them every day,'' Mr Burke said. 

``The direct impact (of the budget) is going to send shockwaves around the whole country, but the direct impact that is going to be felt here in Tasmania is extraordinary.''

But Mr Gutwein dismissed some of the language from his counterparts in other states as ``political theatrics''. 

``I note today that some of the larger states have actually moderated their language and are coming back to the position that we've taken,'' he said yesterday.

``This budget contains the good, the bad  and the ugly.''

He could not quantify the scale of the black hole left by the Commonwealth's planned changes, highlighting instead that the federal budget actually delivered a spending increase on health, education and infrastructure over the next three years. 

``We are working through a process in developing the August (state) budget,'' Mr Gutwein said.

``We will now be informed by the federal budget, and we will be able to frame our budget around that.

``I'm not going to speculate what may or may not be contained within the August budget.''

Premier Will Hodgman will attend a crisis meeting with other state leaders tomorrow in Sydney. 

Peter Gutwein

Peter Gutwein


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