The State Budget papers expose the fact that the Liberals concocted an apparent immediate budgetary crisis which they then promised to fix with populist pork-barrelling, knowing they’d use the public sector to fund these promises, while failing to address issues of long term structural reform, Greens Leader and Treasury spokesperson Kim Booth MP said today.
“The lie of there being such an urgent financial crisis is proven by the Treasurer’s own budget papers which state that the economy is forecast to grow by 1.5 per cent in 2014-15, ‘the same rate as expected in 2013-14’,” Mr Booth said.
“Clearly there wasn’t a short-term problem given the Liberals are happy to accept last year’s economic growth projections without change. Yet they’ve set up the public sector to pay for their election promises credit card splurge, failed to tackle long term structural reform, and taken us backwards by reverting to public subsidies of forestry.”
“This State budget sees the Liberals paying off their election promises credit card debt accrued when buying their way into power, and they are using the public sector to do so.”
“The total combined impact of both the 700 job cuts, that we know of, and the wage freeze equates $374.3 million, which is over 90 per cent of the $400 million worth of Liberal election promises.”
“Paying off the election promises credit card was clearly of more importance than detailing a strategy to address the looming unfunded super liability which is set to increase from $5.4 billion to $5.8 billion over the next four years.”
“Nor does this Budget address the need to pay down the debt carried by the Government Business Enterprises.”
“While silent on long term structural reform, the Budget Papers also provide worrying insights into the Liberals’ priorities. They clearly do not value our democratic institutions given they now expect the parliament to find savings of $1.5 million, yet will pay their own political staffers salaries of $220, 000.”
“The Hodgman regime is happy to prioritise breaking the promise to end public subsidies to Forestry Tasmania, while cutting the Climate Action Council, and failing to provide any new funding for Aboriginal heritage.”
“To exacerbate the situation, not only do the Liberals fail to address long term structural reform, they undermine the previous hardwork to restructure the state’s finances by locking in once again public subsidies to forestry for example.”