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State Budget must address important priorities for Tasmanians

  • Health, housing and child protection must be properly funded
  • Gutwein must provide realistic expenditure forecasts
  • Honesty needed in forecasts showing risks posed by the GST review
  • Does Gutwein have a plan to regain the Moody’s AA1 credit rating he lost in 2016?

Thursday’s Tasmanian State Budget must address areas critical to all Tasmanians, including the health crisis and the emergency in housing affordability and homelessness.

Opposition Leader Rebecca White said Labor will hold the Government to account for its warped priorities this week

“Since the election we have seen this Liberal Government spend $10 million handing out taxpayer’s money to discretionary projects while Tasmanians across the state continue to sleep in tents,” Ms White said.

“It is heartless and unconscionable.

“Our health system is chronically underfunded, yet the Government has committed just $21.2 million in additional health spending next year.

“We know all of our public hospitals continue to be under severe stress and the situation is just getting worse.”

Shadow Treasurer Scott Bacon said the Government had spent an additional $1.5 billion above forecast over its first four years in government, without actually solving any of the chronic service issues impacting Tasmanians in health, housing or child protection.

“Peter Gutwein is now the highest spending Treasurer in Tasmanian history but where has the money actually gone – there has been no improvement in any of the services Tasmanian rely on,” Mr Bacon said.

“Peter Gutwein has spent $1.5 billion essentially delivering nothing.

“Every year the Treasurer misses his expenditure targets but gets saved by higher than expected revenue.  Even his fake surplus is all luck, not management.

“Labor is concerned that even in this improved economic environment, the Hodgman Government has still been unable to produce an underlying net operating surplus.”

Mr Bacon pointed to improved Tasmanian economic conditions which have stemmed from a lower Australian dollar and improved global and domestic economic conditions and asked how the Treasurer had managed to lose Tasmania’s AA1 credit rating in 2016.

“The Treasurer should be embarrassed to have lost Tasmania’s AA1 credit rating while enjoying rivers of gold from federal money pouring into the state in 2016.

“His budget must finally outline a plan to get back the AA1 credit rating he lost.”