Pitt out of tricks and debt still up

5 Dec 2015 12:00 AMJohn-Paul Langbroek

Treasurer Curtis Pitt is shifting debt to Government-Owned Corporations as part of a tricky cash grab that fails to manage the budget or deliver jobs for Queenslanders now or in the future.


Deputy Opposition Leader and Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said Labor’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review showed since the budget, almost $1 billion of extra debt had been added to the government’s books.


“Curtis Pitt, the one-trick wonder, already shuffled $4 billion of debt off the books in the budget and today’s report shows it did nothing to keep debt down,” Mr Langbroek said.


“In fact general government debt is $200 million higher than Curtis Pitt forecast in the budget just six months ago.


“The Palaszczuk Labor government is clueless with no plan of its own, and while the Treasurer has tried a sleight of hand trick to improve the budget position, Queensland is going backwards as total debt is still up.


“The Treasurer is out of tricks after shifting debt to the GOCs and raiding public servants’ superannuation and long service leave entitlements.


“The Treasurer is simply moving debt from one credit card to another but that doesn’t get rid of the debt – surely even a D-Grade Treasurer can grapple with this simple fact.


“The blow out of government expenses by $1 billion echoes the bad old days of irresponsible big-spending Labor Governments with out of control budgets.


“Despite promising jobs now and jobs for the future, the unemployment rate is still forecast at 6.5 per cent.”


Mr Langbroek said merging all the electricity companies and generators was the one thought bubble Labor pinned its entire economic strategy on during the election and it was now off the table.


“Labor’s back down is no surprise after the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission raised serious concerns about the dud policy,” he said.


“The Treasurer still hasn’t revealed any modelling or detail about where the $680 million of savings will come after Energex and Ergon Energy merge.


“Claiming to create 500 jobs over the next decade while losing 366 jobs in the next five years doesn’t make sense and raises more questions than answers.


“Queenslanders want to know about jobs, they want a stable economy and businesses want the confidence to invest and grow and while the LNP has a plan to unleash Queensland’s potential, Labor is making it up as it goes.”


Mr Langbroek said the Palaszczuk Labor Government had broken nearly every promise it made during the election.


“Labor promised to pay down debt but debt is still going up, Labor promised jobs but we are facing a $50 billion infrastructure black hole,” he said.


“Queenslanders deserve better than a government that is all talk and no action, promising the world while delivering nothing.”

Fast Facts


  • Total debt will reach nearly $80 billion in 2018-2019 - $865 million higher than was forecast in the budget

  • General Government debt increases every year reaching nearly $41 billion in 2018-2019, almost $200 million higher than originally forecast in the budget.


  • Operating balance is down $1.5 billion over the next four years.


  • General government expenses have blown out by $1 billion over the next four years.


  • Unemployment rate is still forecast at 6.5 per cent.


  • Economic growth has fallen from 4.5 per cent to 4 per cent this financial year.

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