The Rann Government has broken its own record as the highest taxing government in South Australia’s history but much of the enormous extra revenue collected has been wasted, Shadow Treasurer Rob Lucas said today.
“Today’s Mid-Year Budget Review confirms the Rann Government is still the highest taxing government in the state’s history, with total revenue collections for this year $2300 million higher than for the last year of the former Liberal Government in 2001-02,” Mr Lucas said today.
“Long-suffering taxpayers in South Australia are rightly asking where this $2300 million has gone.
“There certainly has not been a $2300 million a year improvement in hospital services, conditions in schools or the quality of our roads in South Australia.
“The sad reality is that a lot of this extra money has been wasted on trams, opening bridges in Mr Foley’s electorate and massive blowouts in capital works projects such as the $257 million blowout on The Queen Elizabeth Hospital redevelopment.
“The Mid-Year Budget Review has confirmed that there have been further increased collections from stamp duty on property conveyances and payroll taxes.
“Total increases in revenue over the forward estimates are $425m higher than the forecasts included in the budget only seven months ago.
“It is also interesting to note that Mr Foley has not revealed funding available in the Treasurer’s Contingency Lines. This is unallocated spending which is available in part for the Government or alternate Government to announce new spending initiatives.
“South Australians remember that it was the former Liberal Government that cleaned up the State Bank mess presided over by the Bannon Government when Mr Rann was a senior Minister and Mr Foley was a senior ministerial adviser.
“The former Liberal Government reduced Labor’s debt of $11.6 billion to $3.2 billion, negotiated the ‘rivers of gold’ GST deal for South Australia and left a strong budget in surplus.
“It is ridiculous for Mr Foley to be preaching financial restraint when he announced increased spending of $67m today and every day a Government Minister announces new spending in some area.
“Any Government that is prepared to tackle this Government’s waste and wrong priorities will be in a strong position to provide tax relief to taxpayers and direct spending to priority areas such as disability services and mental health.”