The Palaszczuk Government is all out of budget tricks revealing Queenslanders cannot trust Labor as it borrows from the future, instead of investing in it.

During his budget reply speech in Parliament today, Opposition Leader Lawrence Springborg said Labor’s budget is one of tricks and raids and proves once and for all it has no plan for Queensland.

“This incompetent Treasurer has broken every election promise he made – he has failed to pay down debt, failed to deliver surpluses and has left the door open to asset sales,” Mr Springborg said.

“Treasurer Curtis Pitt’s accounting magic tricks fooled no one as ratings agencies warned Labor is putting Queensland back on a trajectory headed for blowouts in government expenses and more debt.

“Labor’s slight-of-hand budget has left our State defenceless against imminent economic shocks and it will be future generations of Queenslanders left to pay for this gross fiscal irresponsibility.

“This government promises to be ‘pro-jobs’ but the reality is, unemployment is set to rise and there is nothing that encourages business confidence in Labor’s budget.”

Mr Springborg said the LNP last week released its Real Economic Plan to kick-start the economy, pay down debt and deliver job-creating infrastructure.

“Our plan is a positive plan and will grow the economy by focusing on five key priority areas, including services and knowledge based industries,” he said.

  • We will lift the infrastructure freeze imposed by Labor and reduce payroll tax, increasing the threshold by $100,000 each year, generating more jobs for Queenslanders
  • We will re-introduce the Surgery Wait Time Guarantee according to the will of the Parliament- ensuring every patient will receive elective surgery on time
  • We will tie family car registration costs to inflation, instead of slugging drivers with a two and a half times the inflation increase as Labor did
  • We will stop Labor’s soft-on-crime approach and crack down on outlaw criminal motorcycle gangs by re-introduce the $1.78 million Labor ripped out of the budget.
  • While Labor slashed the Royalties for the Regions’ program, we will maintain and enhance the program.
  • We will establish a Queensland Regional Finance and Insurance Corporation to assist rural farming and other small business enterprises.

Mr Springborg said Labor’s budget is bad for jobs, bad for business and bad news for the economy.

“The LNP is the only party that has a real plan to deliver for Queenslanders while this Labor Government is providing nothing but deceit, indecision and incompetence.”

Quotes to note:

Moody’s Investors Service

The state’s ability to meet these targets will be challenging given upward pressures in healthcare and other social services and will necessitate strong fiscal resolve to control current spending.

The government has also implemented a “Debt Action Plan” which was designed to reduce debt and therefore to offset the impact of the projected cumulative AUD6.9 billion cash deficit of the consolidated government, over the next four years, on the state’s debt burden.

The plan, however, is mostly focused on a restructuring of the balance sheet, including a reduction in financial assets that are held for liabilities relating to long service leave, a 5-year holiday in contribution to the superannuation fund – which is currently more than 100% funded- and transferring debt from the general government sector to electric utility public corporations.

Gene Tunney: Head of Adept Economics and former Commonwealth Treasury official

“It really hasn’t done anything to address Queensland’s long term fiscal challenges getting down debt and restoring our AAA credit rating. There are a lot of fiddles, a lot of accounting fiddles, in this budget to give the illusion that they’re meeting their fiscal strategy, but really it’s not a great budget, it’s very disappointing.”

“The Government can’t improve its position by this type of financial manipulation, you can’t improve its real position to try and give the illusion that it’s paying down the debt saying it’s worried about that general government debt……”