Verdicts on the federal budget

AAP

WHAT THEY SAID ABOUT THE 2017/18 FEDERAL BUDGET

"Tonight, Malcolm Turnbull is delivering a tax cut for millionaires and a tax hike for every working Australian. People are saying this is a like a 'Labor budget'. A Labor budget wouldn't cut schools to give millionaires a tax cut." - Labor leader Bill Shorten

"I am enjoying watching the Libs reluctantly burying neo-Liberalism." - Greens leader Richard Di Natale

"A couple of tax increases and nothing much else. Indistinguishable from a pre-election Labor budget." - Liberal Democrat senator David Leyonhjelm

"No fairness, security, or opportunity for Tasmania." - Independent senator Jacqui Lambie

"This is the Star Wars: Rogue One budget - the government has the plans but it hasn't yet tackled the debt star." - PWC chief economist Jeremy Thorpe

"This is a budget delivered by a government that essentially is a wolf dressed up in sheep's clothing. They are trying to make Australians think that they are fair." - ACTU president Ged Kearney

"This is a budget to appease One Nation, not a budget that is about our common humanity." - Campaign for Australian Aid spokesman Tony Milne

"We ... are concerned that most of the improvement to the bottom line comes from more taxes rather than less spending." - Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson

"A fresh start to fuel future growth. While there is unfinished business, there is a welcome and more inclusive approach." - Australian Industry Group chief executive Innes Willox

"This budget lacks the ambition needed to fix the deep structural problems with our national economy and finances." - Institute of Public Affairs researcher Daniel Wild

"A practical and workable budget in the face of sustained political gridlock in Canberra that has stifled much-needed, wider reform." - Business Council of Australia chief executive Jennifer Westacott

"Tonight the government put its money where its mouth is for regional Australia." - Regional Australia Institute chief Jack Archer

"This government will not rest until the pension age has been increased to 70 and that's a real worry for all Australians." - Combined Pensioners and Superannuants Association's Ellis Blaikie

"We don't want to know we are being shafted, nor by how long the shaft is. There is no way out of this except by a government insurance body." - Crossbench MP Bob Katter on the ACCC monitoring insurance prices

HEALTH

"Lifting the Medicare rebate freeze is overdue, but we welcome it. The AMA would have preferred to see the Medicare freeze lifted across the board from 1 July 2017 but ... the three-stage process will provide GPs and other specialists with certainty and security." - Australian Medical Association president Michael Gannon

"The staged lifting of the freeze in the budget does mean that many families on average incomes still face the risk of co-payment increases they can ill-afford for at least another year." - Consumers Health Forum chief Leanne Wells

"The increase to the Medicare levy amounts to an $8.2 billion income tax increase across four years. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is an important initiative, but we need to think carefully about the best way to fund it." - Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry chief executive James Pearson

"It will remove NDIS funding from battles in cabinet and parliament about spending and savings priorities." - National Disability Services chief Ken Baker

EDUCATION

"This budget is hard on students and soft on big business. In 2018 and 2019 alone schools will miss out on $3 billion in extra resources which they would be getting under the current Gonski agreements." - Australian Education Union federal president Correna Haythorpe

"Catholic school parents are rightly going to ask their local representatives why their children's education shouldn't receive the same funding support as other children at schools in their neighbourhood." - National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin

"This is a war on young people and we'll be fighting back." - National Union of Students president Sophie Johnston

"At a time when we want to increase jobs, when we want to make a transition to the new economy, we should be investing in universities, not reducing that level of investment in universities." - Universities Australia CEO Belinda Robinson

HOUSING

"If the budget is a bar, from an affordable housing perspective, I came expecting a long cold beer - but I found out it was only serving warm shandies. It gave me a drink, but it wasn't very satisfying." - National Shelter head Adrian Pisarski

"On first blush we see a housing affordability package which will take us forward and will address many of the key issues which have been bedevilling our system. Unfortunately we also see another round of demonising foreign investors." - Property Council of Australia chief executive Ken Morrison

"Tonight, mums and dads (and) self-managed super funds can breathe a sigh of relief that negative gearing was left alone, the capital gains that applies to those properties was left alone." - CPA Australia policy head Paul Drum

"Regrettably, however, the government has not taken this package to the next logical step which is to better manage the quality of the new supply." - Australian Institute of Architects national president Ken Maher

"The first home's super saver scheme is a game changer for people saving for their first home deposit." - Dixon advisory managing director Nerida Cole

BANKS

"I wouldn't want to be CEO of one of the big four banks tonight - this is a budget that is bad for banks, which means it's a budget that's good for consumers." - consumer group Choice chief executive Alan Kirkland

"It is naive and misguided and has already sent the wrong signals to global financial markets about the strength and stability of our banking sector." - Australian Bankers' Association chief executive Anna Bligh

"This budget should end all calls for a royal commission into financial services." - Financial Services Council chief executive Sally Loane

WELFARE

"This budget has totally demonised and framed young people and welfare recipients as criminals, drug users and a lesser group of people that deserve to go without." - National Union of Students welfare officer Jill Molloy

"What an incredible violation of individual liberties. This is a very, very dangerous precedent." - Greens leader Richard Di Natale on plans to drug test welfare recipients

AID

"Yet again, our aid program has been viewed as disposable." - ChildFund chief executive Nigel Spence

"This is a blatant abandonment of commitments this government has made to communities living in poverty around the world." - Action Aid spokeswoman Michelle Higelin

INLAND RAIL

"For many decades we have been talking about inland rail and there's no doubt the headline item for us is the $8.4 billion commitment to this project." - National Farmers Federation president Fiona Simson

"The transformative potential of the inland rail project has been talked about for decades. At long last, we can stop merely talking about this project's potential, and instead begin to witness it." - Australian Logistics Council managing director Michael Kilgariff.

INFRASTRUCTURE

"Tonight's budget is a cut in real infrastructure funding ... of about $7.4 billion. We're going to see less infrastructure built over the next four years, not more." - Infrastructure Partnerships Australia chief executive Brendan Lyon