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Hodgman & Gutwein’s cuts will hurt Tasmanians

  • Cuts will impact on essential services and frontline jobs will go
  • Liberals budget in complete disarray
  • Gutwein hiding from scrutiny
  • Another $400M in cuts still to come

Yesterday Peter Gutwein hid away from questions on the disastrous forecasts in the Tasmanian Government Fiscal Sustainability Report that exposes the Liberals’ five years of budget incompetence. 

Today he has released a five page Budget update with next to no detail on the Government’s savage $450 million budget cuts.

Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said today’s announcement confirmed that the cuts will reduce frontline services and cost Tasmanian jobs.

“Today’s so-called budget update confirms Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein will cut the equivalent of almost 1500 surgeries or 164 nurses out of the health system, and that’s just this year,” Mr O’Byrne said.

“The Tasmanian health system can’t cope with any more brutal cuts from this Government. 

“If this trend continues, the health system will face cuts of almost $147 million over the next three and a half years – and that’s in addition to the systematic underfunding of the health budget.

“A $9 million cut from Education is the equivalent of 116 teachers gone this year, while Communities Tasmania faces cuts that could mean a reduction in 54 child protection workers.

“Peter Gutwein was too embarrassed to show his face yesterday following the release of the Fiscal Sustainability Report.  Today he dropped the budget update on journalists at his press conference with no time to prepare questions before scurrying back into his office.

“Today’s update continues the secrecy surrounding the Hodgman Razor Gang’s savage cuts. There is still $400 million worth of cuts to come over the next three years.

“What we do know is that vacancy control and organisational restructure is Liberal code for job cuts.

“Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein have broken their promise not to cut frontline services.

“Yesterday’s Treasury Report confirms that on the Liberals’ current path, by 2033 the health system will receive half the funding it actually needs. 

“Peter Gutwein inherited a good set of books with zero net debt in 2014, in fact he had $200 million to play with. We are now on a path to hit $1.1 billion of net debt in the life of this Government. 

“It was only 18 months ago, he declared Tasmanian was entering a Golden Age.

“Tasmanians shouldn’t have to pay for Will Hodgman and Peter Gutwein’s terrible financial management.”

David O’Byrne MP
Shadow Treasurer