The LNP Government’s financial credibility has been further shot to bits after the admission by Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle, Member for Buderim Steve Dickson and Member for Mermaid Beach Ray Stevens that they stated incorrect information in State Parliament about the current level of debt in Queensland.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said five LNP MPs have now been forced to apologise to Parliament for their misleading statements about the mythical “$100 billion debt” predicted by the audit conducted by the LNP’s mate and active Liberal politician Peter Costello.
“Last Parliament sitting the Minister for Agriculture John McVeigh and the Member for Morayfield Darren Grimwade were forced to apologise and today Members for Mermaid Beach, Buderim and Caloundra were also forced to apologise,” Mr Pitt said.
“The LNP needs to be honest with the people of Queensland and spell out the wild assumptions used by Mr Costello to deliver the “$100 billion debt” figure — a figure bearing no relationship to reality.
“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.
“Labor left office with a debt of $62 billion, and half of that is carried by government-owned corporations such as port authorities that recoup their debt not from taxpayers, but from customers using their facilities such as resource companies,” he said.
Mr Pitt said the LNP Government should also point out the Costello audit showed the Newman Government’s jobs purge and savage cuts to frontline services are being conducted 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 the Premier and Treasurer claiming to have identified the savings before the election,” he said.
“The LNP’s claim about the level of state debt has been part of a misleading political strategy. Queenslanders deserve much better.”