Like the Treasurer’s Budget speech, the Budget reply provides an opportunity for the Leader of the Opposition to publicly outline their party’s views on the government’s proposed Budget. The reply speech is an important part of scrutinising—carefully examining—the Budget and holding the government to account. It also allows the opposition to set out any alternative policies they have regarding proposals to raise and spend money.
The Leader of the Opposition announced Budget measures that would be introduced under a Labor government, including:
- free cancer screenings and additional funding for cancer research and clinical trials
- increasing the number of staff supporting the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
- restoring funding to the ABC
- eliminating mobile phone blackspots.
In his speech, Mr Shorten declared ‘I'm here to outline Labor's plan to bring the fair go back into the heart of our nation, a plan to properly fund health and education, a plan to boost your wages and a plan for real tax cuts to help you with your family budget.’