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Labor delivers a budget surplus while people sleep on the street

6 June 2024

The Greens have welcomed the Government’s decision to finally provide renters with the same cost of living concession as homeowners in today’s their budget but say the Government should have taken action on soaring rent prices and delivered more public housing rather than a $300m surplus.

Key features of the budget include:

  • A $306 million surplus for this year (enough to build approx. 1020 homes)
  • Providing renters with the same cost of living concession as homeowners
  • Extending public transport concessions to health care card holders
  • $200 reduction in the Materials and Services Charge for school parents
  • $10m for a rail study versus $35.6m for new road projects (alongside $350 ongoing for South Eastern Freeway project)
  • No action on ambulance call out fees
  • No action on rent prices or regulation of short-stay accommodation

Quotes attributable to Greens Treasury Spokesperson, Robert Simms MLC

“What is the point of a surplus when we have people sleeping on the street? Rather than delivering a $306 million surplus in the middle of a housing crisis, the Government should have used this money to build more public housing. Based on the Government’s own costings, $306 million could have been used to build 1020 new homes in the next year.”

“There’s no point squirrelling money away for a rainy day when we have storm clouds ahead. We don’t need a surplus; we need more public housing now.”

“The Greens welcome the Government finally providing renters with the same cost of living concession as homeowners - we have been advocating this for some time. Unfortunately, however renters will be disappointed that there is still no action on spiralling rent prices. The Government should have committed to freezing rents to give renters some relief or offered incentives to landlords to reduce rent prices.”

“A $200 reduction in the school Materials and Services Charge is also welcome. However, the Government should have gone further and made public education free, scrapping these fees once and for all.”

“South Australians will be relieved to see additional funding for health in the budget, but there is still no action on exorbitant ambulance call out fees. As a result, South Australians will continue to pay some of the highest ambulance call out fees in the country.”

“The Greens welcome the commitment for investigating extending the rail network, but sadly it seems roads are still the main game for this Government. These studies are a drop in the ocean when compared to the millions of dollars being pumped into road projects in the years ahead. While some concession card holders will see a reduction in public transport fares, most South Australians will instead see the cost of their tickets go up. The Government could have followed Queensland’s lead in slashing fees, but instead they are hiking them up.”