Kevin Foley is acting like a 21st century version of ‘Henny Penny’ in claiming that the state budget is in trouble because of the GST deal negotiation, according to Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“Kevin Foley’s response seems to be limited to be running around in circles with his hands flapping and claiming the sky is falling in on his budget,” Mr Lucas said today.
“The reality is that, even if South Australia agreed to the Federal deal and abolished all of the taxes demanded, by 2009 South Australia’s budget would still be better off by more than $200m per year. The attached table from the Federal Treasurer clearly demonstrates this point.
“Kevin Foley’s handling of this difficult negotiation has been limp-wristed and wimpish, as evidenced by his radio interviews today claiming South Australia was virtually helpless as it was like ‘a popgun against a tank’.
“Whilst there appears to be a possible compromise of a transition period of four years to abolish these state taxes, South Australia needs a tougher negotiator now to negotiate a better deal for South Australia. After all, South Australia ultimately controls the timing of any required legislation to abolish South Australian taxes.
“For the last two years Kevin Foley has argued the Liberal Party was wrong when it pointed out the Rann Government was drowning in surplus cash and could afford tax relief for long-suffering taxpayers. The Rann Government’s recent backflip on land tax shows that the Liberal Opposition understood the true budget position better than Mr Foley.
“Mr Foley’s latest claims about the budget are equally unbelievable. A projected GST surplus of more than $200m per year together with a concerted attack on Rann Government waste will still leave Rob Kerin the budget flexibility to introduce a comprehensive tax relief package at the coming election.”