Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the LNP’s response to the Costello Report released today confirms and infrastructure slowdown will be added to government job cuts as a way to pay for their election promises.
“The Treasurer and Premier have been telling Queenslanders that they need to cut public service jobs to pay down debt” Mr Pitt said.
“Today the Treasurer has detailed that the LNP will commit to the same level of debt as projected by Labor in the Mid-Year Review of $85 billion in 2014-15.
“Not only this, but the Treasurer has said the LNP would cut infrastructure spending and as a result construction jobs in the private sector.
“Yesterday we had the Premier tell the Parliament that $85 billion in debt in 2014-15 meant that the State was heading for $100 billion in debt in six years.
“This means that all their talk about a mythical $100 billion debt was cooked up.
“Now the LNP is saying that they will commit to the same level of debt while sacking public servants and slashing infrastructure projects to find savings needed to fund their election promises.
Mr Pitt said the Treasurer has attempted to hide this admission with a shameless attack on the independence of Queensland Treasury.
“The Treasurer has revealed that he has told Treasury to change their May Forward Estimates Update to lower transfer revenue projections” Mr Pitt said.
“These Treasury projections from January were for transfer duty to track at 14% per annum compared with 25% per annum prior to the Global Financial Crisis.
“The Treasurer then attacked Treasury for forecasting wages growth of 4.5% annum at the Mid-Year Review based on a wages policy of 2.5% per annum and population growth of 2% per annum – while maintaining he could deliver growth of just 3% per annum without forced redundancies.
“The Treasurer has also now committed to a fiscal balance. No Liberal Government in Australia is recording a ‘fiscal surplus’ and Access Economics has described it as an inappropriate way for States to report their budget position.
“What using a ‘fiscal surplus’ which includes infrastructure spending in the balance does is provide a justification for the Treasurer to sell assets.
“This means that the LNP will look to receive asset sales proceeds in 2014-15. Yet the Treasurer has not told Queenslanders what assets the LNP will sell.
“People quite rightly are sceptical of politicians, including ex-politicians, like Mr Peter Costello’s politicising of the State’s finances. That’s why we again call on the LNP to table Treasury’s costing’s of their election commitments.”