Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan delivers his budget speech in the House of Representatives under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Julia Gillard.
Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan delivers his budget speech in the House of Representatives under the watchful eye of Prime Minister Julia Gillard. ALAN PORRITT

Ipswich backs Swan's budget

IPSWICH business and political leaders have welcomed the Federal Government's budget as mostly positive for the Ipswich community.

With savings coming from big expenditure cuts to foreign aid, defence spending and a back flip on company tax cuts, revenue from the mining boom has been redirected to ease cost of living expenses.

Ipswich Chamber of Commerce president Brett Kitching said while more help for small business would have been welcomed, the budget was quite positive.

"It appears it's been directed to make life easier and give more spending power to families," Mr Kitching said.

"From a general business point of view that's a good thing.

"Discretionary spending power of families will increase as soon as the grants commence. Most of that money will find its way through to business."

Similarly, Ipswich Business Enterprise Centre manager Tony Axford said with 65% of all ABN holders in Ipswich classed as micro enterprises, the focus on families would help the majority of Ipswich business people.

"That funding will trickle into those small retailers such as Top of Town, Orion and Goodna," Mr Axford said.

"Those three areas are hurting in the retail area in Ipswich. I believe this will allow people to spend rather than save. Disappointing for me is the company tax, but in Ipswich the majority of businesses aren't in that league."

Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann lauded the budget as win for local families and businesses.

"There are over 11,000 families in Blair that will benefit from the School Kids Bonus," Mr Neumann said.

"It will replace the Education Tax Refund and there are an estimated 2100 families in Ipswich and Somerset who missed out on claiming."

Mr Neumann also highlighted tax write-offs for small business and increases to Family Tax Benefit A as grass roots spending, but with the family tax payments not due to start until July 2013, he rejected suggestions the early announcement was for political reasons.

"We're seeing real assistance on the table for people," he said.

"We are providing family tax benefit increases already in this Clean Energy Future Fund from July 1."

Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale welcomed increased Roads to Recovery funding, but as chairman of the National Growth Areas Alliance he said the budget missed an opportunity to support growth corridors.

"We've put our hand up to be a growth area and we are working hard, so I think the Federal Government needs to give those areas extra support," he said.

City Reaction

  • Mayor Pisasale says the budget should give more support to growth areas.
  • Chamber of Commerce head Brett Kitching said increased family spending would help local business.
  • BEC manager Tony Axford hopes the extra money for families will be spent locally.
  • Federal member Shayne Neumann said thousands of Ipswich people would benefit.



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