Labor calls for “sharing economy” in NSW budget reply
NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has called the Baird Government's budget a "quick fix" as he outlined Labor's alternative economic plan for the state.
Mr Foley used his budget reply speech on Thursday to call for hundreds of thousands of Indian students to be allowed into TAFE courses in the coming years to revitalise the under-funded sector.
"There is an opportunity for TAFE NSW to be part of it, providing training to hundreds of thousands, potentially millions of Indians, over coming years," he said.
"TAFE has put a toe in the water but should now dramatically increase its activities offshore in India and other places."
He added a new funding model with the Commonwealth was needed for the state to be successful.
"There is no plan to deal with the $25 billion of cuts that have been inflicted by the Abbott Government on our schools and hospitals," Mr Foley said.
"Forty per cent of the New South Wales budget is made up from Commonwealth payments, and as Tony Abbott's cuts have proved, this imbalance has devastating consequences.
"The solution is a new pact with the Commonwealth on tax revenue.
"A fair share of the tax we pay should be returned to fund the schools, hospitals and infrastructure we use."
A Labor Government would also embrace the "sharing economy" of businesses such as controversial ride-sharing transport company Uber.
"There is huge economic potential here. It is time for government to engage with this collaborative economy, by creating a framework for its use - and we should start with ride sharing," Mr Foley said.
"Ride sharing has already been regulated in more than 24 jurisdictions around the world. It's time for this state to join that list.
"People are voting with their feet - hundreds of thousands used Uber last year.
"And the public should be free to choose the services they want without fear of retribution from government."
Mr Foley vowed to bring down unemployment rates in regional areas if elected.
"When the government was elected, there were 187,000 people unemployed in New South Wales," he said.
"This has surged to 225,000 people today.
"One in eight young people looking for work can't find a job.
"Across regional areas it is one in six and in many areas it is higher still.
"In Richmond and the Tweed, youth unemployment stands at 17.5%.
"We should not accept this."