Broad view on budget

"FAIR and responsible" is how Nationals MP Andrew Broad described his government's 2017-18 budget, with a splash of cash for education, roads, local councils and rail in the Mallee. 

Nationals MP Andrew Broad.

Nationals MP Andrew Broad.

The Member for Mallee said he would work closely with the nine local governments in the Wimmera Mallee electorate to secure funding in north-west Victoria through the $472 million Regional Growth Fund. 

In handing down his second federal budget, Treasurer Scott Morrison was concerned some regional areas had been "disconnected from national growth" and wanted that to change.

"We have hit the big banks a bit, but they can afford it," Mr Broad said.

Asked if he believed the four big banks would absorb the levy hikes, which would raise $6.2 billion over four years, or pass them onto customers, Mr Broad said he could never trust a bank. 

"Anytime the banks get a bit worried in the global financial crisis, they come back to the Commonwealth and ask us to be their guarantors, so it's only fair we now impose on their huge profits," Mr Broad said.

"We have the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission that will do very vigorous assessment to ensure the levy isn't passed on."

Mr Broad said former Queensland Labor premier Anna Bligh, who is the Australian Bankers Association chief executive, "made me want to throw up". 

"I heard her on radio say, 'this is terrible; this will affect all the pensioners that have shareholdings with the banks and will come off their share dividends'," he said. 

"I'm sure, out of the 20,000 pensioners in my electorate, I have all of them sitting on $100,000 banking share portfolios, who will be upset by this.

"What a load of bulls***.

"There are institutional investors that will have shareholdings in the banks, but not too many pensioners with a significant hold in shares, which would impact on their pensions." 

Mr Broad said he couldn't think of anyone who had sympathy for their bank. 

He also welcomed the restored indexation on financial assistance grants, complementing the Regional Growth Fund.

"A lot of those things need to be driven by councils so they have more freedom to get that money," Mr Broad said. 

"I can think of areas like the Swan Hill riverside redevelopment that could tap into such funding, but I would need to sit down with council and identify their capital project priorities."

Despite earlier criticism of using superannuation to address housing affordability for first home buyers, Mr Broad said he welcomed the super savings as a vehicle towards a home or apartment deposit. 

"Using super funds beyond the company contribution will mean first home buyers can save up to 30 per cent quicker," Mr Broad said.

"I think it will be welcomed, because if you and your partner save up to $60,000 in super, that's a good deposit on your first home."

The initiative means first home buyers will be allowed to withdraw any contributions, up to $30,000, beyond the 9.5 per cent super guarantee to buy property. 

Meanwhile, he said Opposition leader Bill Shorten and his party would be trying to "scratch their head" trying to counter argue the budget, widely described as a Labor budget.

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