Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says the 2012 State Budget proves the Newman Government’s scrapping of 14,000 jobs and savage cuts to frontline services are not paying down debt but are helping fund LNP election promises.
“This is the trickiest State Budget in a generation delivered by the meanest government in a generation,” Mr Pitt said.
“It is based entirely on the now widely discredited, made-to-measure projections of its highly politicised Costello Commission of Audit.
”I find it difficult to believe that Tim Nicholls said it was an ‘exciting time to be Treasurer’ on the day his own Budget slashes 14,000 jobs.
“The LNP thinks the people in those jobs are mere speed bumps and they are pleased to see them in the rear-view mirror as the government moves on to cut or outsource more jobs and frontline services.”
Mr Pitt said Tim Nicholls would go down in history as the Treasurer who delivered the largest deficit in Queensland’s history — $6.294 billion this financial year including $800 million in redundancy payments.
“This is just one way in which the Budget Papers reveal the mean and tricky nature of the Treasurer and the LNP government.
“Instead of using data from the independent Queensland Treasury, Mr Nicholls has relied on the flawed, made-to-measure projections of Peter Costello to again mislead Queenslanders.
“The Treasurer’s own Budget papers also confirm that Labor left office with debt at $62 billion despite the repeated claims by the LNP of a $65 billion debt.”
Mr Pitt said the State Budget outlined almost a carbon copy of the debt-reduction strategy planned by the former government.
“Why is it a ‘debt binge’ when Labor borrows to build infrastructure and creat jobs, but not when the LNP does it?” he said.
“This roughly parallels Labor’s strategy previously outlined by Queensland Treasury that was to see debt peak in 2014-15 at $85 billion.
“Then it would wind down once the level of spending on Labor’s once-in-a-generation infrastructure was also reduced to the more usual levels of less than $10 billion a year.
“The difference is that Labor was never planning to cut 14,000 jobs including frontline positions such as nurses across Queensland.
“The only conclusion is that the LNP’s mass sackings and cuts to frontline services have been to fund the LNP’s election commitments.”
Mr Pitt said the Treasurer’s statements suggested the LNP’s jobs purge was not yet over.
“Mr Nicholls refers to even more jobs going, which means more families without a pay-packet and more communities and local economies feeling the impacts of reduced spending and a drop in confidence.”