Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says Premier Newman’s TV talk tonight will be a waste of time and money unless he provides a figure for the number of people to be sacked in the LNP’s jobs purge.

“All viewers need to hear from him is one number to end the cloud of uncertainty hanging over more than 200,000 government employees,” Mr Pitt said.

“If he does not give that figure then the whole exercise will be a publicity stunt and another opportunity for the Premier to talk down the state economy.”

Mr Pitt said the Premier should also tell viewers:

  • the $100 billion debt figure he persistently quoted was a myth
  • the only black hole found by the Costello audit was the missing $5.7 billion for LNP election promises, and
  • why he hypocritically embraced projects built and delivered under Labor’s budget startegy but continued to criticise that very same strategy.

“The Premier himself has identified 55,000 government employees as likely to lose their jobs including almost 6,600 teachers and almost 2,800 teacher aides on temporary contracts, even though he claims frontline staff are not affected,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Premier needs to be honest with the people of Queensland and spell out the wild assumptions used by Peter Costello to deliver the highly political $100 billion debt figure.

“That figure was devised after Mr Costello assumed no government elected in March would touch existing outlays and debt, and that the next five years would be a carbon-copy of the past five years with the same global financial crisis, historic drought, and devastating string of natural disasters.

“He should also point out the Costello audit showed the Newman Government’s jobs purge is necessary only because the Premier and Treasurer Tim Nicholls cannot find the $5.7 billion in savings needed to fund LNP election promises.

“That’s despite both of them claiming to have identified the savings before the election.”

Mr Pitt said the Premier would tonight attack the former government’s budget startegy.

“But I bet he’ll not mention that he has been happy to smile for the cameras at the opening of projects built under that strategy —  a strategy that delivered much-needed infrastructure and created or protected jobs in the GFC,” he said.