Members of the media, in considering today’s budget numbers, should be aware of significant errors by Kevin Foley in each of his three budgets, according to Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas.
“For example, in the 2003-04 budget papers Mr Foley actually made an error of $794 million in the estimate of total revenue in the State Budget,” Mr Lucas said today.
The following table shows the extent of the Foley errors in each of his three budgets so far:
Budget Paper Estimated Revenue Actual Revenue Error
2002-03 $8818m $9346m $528m
2003-04 $9161m $9955m $794m
2004-05 $9997m ? ?
“The mid-year budget review released in December 2004 estimates 2004-05 revenue at $10,302m, which at that stage indicated the error would be $305m. The budget papers released today will indicate the error will be even higher than that.
“It is interesting to also note that Mr Foley’s estimate of total spending in 2003-04 was wrong by $467m and the error in spending for 2004-05 looks like being just as high again.
“It is clear that the benefits of the GST deal and massive property tax collections have left this government drowning in surplus money and that there is plenty of capacity to provide a comprehensive tax relief package to long-suffering South Australian taxpayers.”
Other things to note in the Budget Papers:
• Whilst the Rann Government is already the highest-taxing State Government in South Australia’s history, if total State Taxation Revenue is greater than $2806m the Rann Government will establish a new tax record.
• The claimed cuts in business taxes (mainly stamp duties) were all forced on the Rann Government by the ultimatum from Peter Costello.
• Even after the Costello-forced cuts in business taxes are phased in, the GST benefit to South Australia in 2009 will still be more than $200m per year.
• Even though Mr Rann has claimed he has addressed problem gambling by cutting more than 2000 gaming machines, gaming machine receipts continue to increase.