Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas is accusing the Rann Government of playing pre-election political games over the timing of the release of important budget information.
“Mr Rann’s decision to delay the release of the Mid-Year Budget Review until mid-January is a sneaky move designed to give a party political advantage to his government,” Mr Lucas said today.
The New South Wales Government has released their Mid-Year Budget Review today, meaning virtually all state governments will have released their review before the end of December.
Government Mid-Year Budget Review release date
Federal 15 December
NSW 21 December
Vic 14 December
WA 23 December (probable)
Tas No later than 15 February 2006
“If the Federal Government and bigger states such as New South Wales and Victoria can all release their mid-year reviews before the end of December it is clearly possible for South Australia to do likewise,” Mr Lucas said.
“The fact that, for the last two years in South Australia, Treasury has been able to release the review in the week before Christmas is further evidence that Mike Rann is playing political games over this issue.
“Whilst it is true that in the past, under Liberal and Labor Governments in South Australia, the review has been released as late as March, new financial information systems now allow SA Treasury to release the data before Christmas.
“Mr Rann and Mr Foley have obviously decided to delay deliberately the release date to give the Government an advantage over the Opposition and minor parties in the lead-up to the election.
“Until the Mid-Year Budget Review is released only the Rann Government will have access to important financial information about the state of the budget. This information (depending on the detail provided) will be critical in the costing of election policies.
“This decision by Mr Rann clearly shows how far he is prepared to go to give his Government an advantage in the lead-up to the state election.”