2007 Budget response: where has all the money gone?
Thursday, 7 June 2007
"The striking feature of Mr Foley’s budget this year is that they are drowning in a sea of cash, yet there is no tax relief provided to long suffering families and first home purchasers," Mr Lucas said.
"This year they have almost $4 billion a year more to spend than the former Liberal Government had to spend six years ago.
"However, can anyone see a $4 billion improvement in health, education and other services in the past six years?
"It is interesting to remember that Mr Rann and Mr Foley strongly opposed the hard decisions (e.g. GST deal, debt reduction through privatisation) taken by the Liberal Government to fix the financial mess created by Labor’s State Bank scandal.
"Sadly, most of this money has been wasted on massive budget blowouts and wrong priorities such as trams and opening bridges in Mr Foley’s own electorate.
"However, the biggest blowout has been caused by Mr Foley losing control over wage costs and the number of public servants employed.
"In just five budgets, Mr Foley has budgeted for an increase of about 2,000 public servants, but the actual increase has been about 12,000 – a blowout of 10,000 public servants!
"If any business manager went to his board and confirmed he had employed an extra 12,000 staff, but had only budgeted for 2,000, he would be sacked.
"We now know why Mr Foley over the last year has refused to answer questions regarding the cap on public service numbers – because there was actually a blowout this year of 2,300 public servants alone!
"The only reason the budget is not in an even bigger mess is because each year Mr Foley has been winning X-Lotto with unbudgeted revenue windfalls of about $500 million per year!
"You can’t go on managing a budget by expecting to win X-Lotto every year!"