An unprecedented four-month delay in the State Budget means the Rann Government is again preparing to break its election promises, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“Sadly for South Australians, the warnings prior to the election of a budget ‘black hole’ caused by Labor’s massive election promises have now been confirmed,” Mr Lucas said today.
“Treasury has advised the Government that the cost of Labor’s election promises, together with the usual budget cost increases and pressures expected over the next four years, will put the budget into deficit unless significant further budget cuts are implemented.
“This is a major embarrassment for Mr Rann and Mr Foley because this is exactly what was stated by the Liberal Party in the lead-up to the election.
“Mr Foley of course steadfastly denied this and, for example, is reported in The Australian on 17 March 2006 saying that his budget savings would ‘deliver no pain’.
“Mr Foley also told ABC Radio on 16 March 2006 that Labor would not shed any public sector jobs and that new police, teacher and doctor numbers would not be funded by getting rid of other public service jobs:
M. Abraham: “And you wont fund those by getting rid of other jobs?”
K. Foley: “No. We will demonstrate today … all of these spendings can be provided through appropriate efficiencies and savings within a budget.”
“Mr Rann’s and Mr Foley’s hypocrisy on this issue is stunning, particularly given the criticism of the Liberal Party’s honesty in the election campaign about highlighting significant waste in the public sector that could be removed.
“It is also clear that the Government will break further promises by increasing government taxes, levies and charges as part of the coming budget. Levies such as the Natural Resources Management Levy are likely to be early targets for significant increases.
“It certainly torpedoes Labor’s claims of tight financial control and accountability.
“It is also interesting to note yet again that this backflip by Labor is announced as soon as Mr Rann leaves the state on an overseas trip.”