Today – 2 days out from the election – the pressure is on Mr Malinauskas to finally ‘fess up’ to South Australian families and businesses and explain exactly how much all of his reckless pre-election spending will cost them, including the promises they’ve been refusing to cost, such as the free pre-school for 3-year-olds.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said Labor’s reckless unfunded spending was one of the most extravagant pre-election splurges by an Opposition in the state’s history – and at $3 billion is the equivalent of about $4,070 per household.
“Today, there’s nowhere left for Mr Malinauskas to hide – he’s run out of time and he’s run out of excuses,” Mr Lucas said.
“Just 2 days out from the election and South Australians deserve to know exactly what taxes, fees and charges they’ll be hit with if Labor is elected, to pay for their billions in reckless unfunded spending – which is now closer to $4 billion.”
Attached is a long list of Labor’s unfunded promises from what we’ve been able to track – quite frankly, it’s easier keeping up with the Kardashians than with Mr Malinauskas’ spending – but it’s nowhere near the full extent of their commitments:
Below are additional Labor promises that either Mr Malinauskas still won’t put a price tag on, Labor promises that have a significant cost blowout, or other promises they have made but not included in their costings.
Promises Labor has made but refuses to reveal the cost:
- Free pre-school for 3-year-olds – Labor refuses to put a cost on this promise. Advice provided to the government by Deloitte is the cost is somewhere between $89 million to $145 million per year ($360 million and $580 million over 4 years) depending on the model used to implement the process. This was a policy Mr Malinauskas announced back in October last year – he’s had ample time and opportunity to do the work and cost the policy. He must now come clean and let voters know what this pledge is going to cost.
- Tearing up train and tram contracts – Labor claims there will be no cost to them tearing up legally-binding train and tram contracts with private sector businesses. This was a similar claim made by the Victorian Labor Opposition before they ended up paying more than $1 billion in compensation. No one believes that claim and the cost to taxpayers will be at least ‘many tens of millions of dollars!’
Labor promise with a major cost blowout
- Hydrogen Power Plant – Labor’s key jobs promise they have costed at $593 million, however the actual cost will be closer to $1.2 billion – ie a $600 million blowout. Respected national energy policy analyst Tony Wood from the Grattan Institute says one aspect of the experimental power plant alone will blow out by ‘hundreds of millions of dollars’.
Promises Labor made, but ones they are now trying to walk away from
- Investment Attraction Agency (4 years) – $50 million for 2 years, $8 million per annum to operate.
P Malinauskas – Budget Reply Speech (Hansard, Nov. 2020) – “This policy is a No Regrets proposition,” Mr Malinauskas told Parliament.
- Free Rapid Antigen Tests – uncosted but hundreds of millions.
P. Malinauskas/Labor – organised a petition ‘Free RATs for everyone’
P. Malinauskas – later released Labor Policy ‘COVID-19 Plan’ – free RATs for all essential workers (including retail workers), people on low incomes and for vulnerable communities.
- Vaccine Plant at Thebarton – $60 million
W. Goodings: “If you were the Premier, would you fully fund the Thebarton BioCina Plant that says it could manufacture Pfizer in simply a matter of months if it was provided with some $60 million?”
P. Malinauskas: “The short answer is, we would be willing to put our money where our mouth is when it comes to supporting that sort of development” – (FiveAA May 27, 2021).
- Reversing land tax aggregation – Labor now say they never promised to reverse the government’s land tax aggregation changes. The cost of that change (if the benefits of lower rates and higher thresholds were kept) would be about $75 million per year.
“Mr Malinauskas’ reckless spending is totally out of control and completely out of touch with the rising cost-of-living pressures on struggling families and businesses, who will ultimately have to pay the price and pick up the bill,” Treasurer Rob Lucas said.
“And the pressure is on Mr Malinauskas to come clean on the cost of promises that have formed a key part of his election pitch – free pre-school for 3-year-olds – which was first announced back in October last year. He’s had ample time and opportunity to do the work and cost the policy.”
Mr Lucas said Labor could not be trusted when they claim they won’t increase taxes to fund their promises because they’ve done it before.
On a number of occasions, including prior to the 2014 election, Labor said they wouldn’t increase taxes if elected, and then – following the election, did just that and massively increased the Emergency Services Levy.
“It’s too big a risk to trust Labor to manage the economy – because when Labor spends big, it’s South Australians who always pay,” Mr Lucas said.