Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says it is now clear Treasurer Tim Nicholls denied Opposition MPs a briefing by panel members of the Costello commission of audit because he feared they would tell the truth and not spin LNP’s myths.
“In the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission yesterday a member of the LNP’s commission of audit, Dr Doug McTaggart, exposed the hoax the LNP has been playing on Queenslanders with its repetition of the myth that the former government borrowed to pay the wages of government employees,” Mr Pitt said.
“Under questioning by the Together Union while under oath in the QIRC Dr McTaggart made it clear he disputed this claim and said it was not substantiated anywhere in the Costello audit report.
“This devastating testimony proves that the LNP’s claims about the level of state debt and borrowing to pay 20,000 people have been part of a misleading political strategy.
“Already in State Parliament this week two LNP MPs, including a Minister, have had to apologise for their misleading statements about the mythical ‘$100 billion debt’ predicted by the Costello audit.
“The LNP’s credibility has been further shot to bits by Dr McTaggart’s testimony and now the house of cards is beginning to fall.”
Mr Pitt said under questioning Dr McTaggart advised the QIRC that to the best of his knowledge the previous government had not been borrowing to fund recurrent expenditure.
“The Premier and Treasurer and other LNP MPs have been parroting the claim that the former government had to borrow to pay its workers,” he said.
“Now we hear from one of the government’s own hand-picked audit commissioners that what the Premier and Treasurer and others have been saying is simply not true.
“It is no wonder the Treasurer recently rejected a request for Opposition MPs to be brief by the audit commissioners. He is clearly scared we would be told the truth.”
Mr Pitt said Dr McTaggart had also advised the QIRC that he considered the LNP’s projected $85 billion of debt in 2014-15 to be manageable.
“That is also the level of debt projected by Treasury under the Labor government,” he said.
“Yet the Premier and Treasurer have been talking about a ‘debt crisis’ and Labor’s ‘debt binge’.
“When the Treasurer was overseas recently on a trip to drum up investment in our state, he never uttered expressions like that or ‘high dive into the abyss’ when describing our state’s economic and financial position.
“It just proves how dishonest the LNP is when it comes to letting Queenslanders know the truth about their state,” Mr Pitt said.