A new financial analysis prepared by an independent think tank includes a scathing criticism of the waste and squandered opportunities of the Rann Government, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“The Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) has highlighted that all states, including South Australia, have experienced phenomenal revenue growth from the GST which was far in excess of the rate expected at the time of its introduction,” Mr Lucas said.
“The IPA has calculated that South Australia had a total revenue windfall of $5.5 billion between 2000-01 and 2004-05 from the GST and state taxes such as property taxes.
“The IPA has concluded that the Rann Government has wasted much of this $5.5 billion windfall through significant increases in public service numbers, public service wages, sloppy budgeting and throwing money at problem areas.
“For example, they calculate public service numbers increased by 17% in South Australia (1999-2005) compared to an average 11.7% for all states and territories.
“Whilst individual state breakdowns are not provided, they argue the increase in administrative staff was three times the increase of health and educational professionals.
“The results of the IPA analysis mirror the claims made by the Liberal Party prior to the election.
“For example, in just three budgets (2002, 2003, 2004) the Rann Government had an unbudgeted increase of more than 6000 in the number of public servants in South Australia. In fact, the Rann Government budgeted for an increase of 666 but ended up with an extra 6909, or an unbudgeted increase of 6243 public servants in just three budgets!
“Of course, in South Australia we have also seen massive blowouts in the cost of capital works projects such as those in the transport and health portfolios.
“It is clear that the Rann Government has squandered the opportunities provided by the GST deal and the property tax boom and wasted hundreds of millions of dollars every year.
“It is no wonder the Rann Government faces a budget crisis, has called on the Howard Government to take over health funding and has delayed the budget by four months.”