The Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says that the confirmation of another massive budget surplus reflects another lost opportunity to reform the boom-and-bust economy, just as the state starts moving away from the latest boom.
“This financial year’s projected surplus of $5.7 billion comes on top of last year’s $5.8 billion record, as a result of high iron ore prices, the GST floor implemented by the Commonwealth and higher state taxes and charges” Dr Thomas said. “It has come in as expected and close to the $6 billion to $7 billion range I predicted weeks ago.”
“The Government is looking at $20 billion in surpluses over five years, and it represents the biggest economic boom of any state in Australia’s history.”
“The good financial position the State finds itself in is not the product of good financial management but of record revenues, the only part of which the Premier can claim credit for is higher state taxation.”
Dr Thomas said that the wealth pouring into the state’s coffers allowed the Government to announce some spending that he welcomed, including the $400 electricity rebate to families.
“I am glad to see the Government recognise the need for cost-of-living relief, even in the modest form announced today” Dr Thomas said.
“However once again we have massive budget surplus but no plan for economic reform, and an inadequate debt repayment program.”
“The only time you can engage in economic reform is when you have the cash reserve to do so, and our state will never have a better opportunity than right now.”
“Sadly the budget released today does nothing in the area of economic or tax reform, making it again a huge missed opportunity.”
“We need to take the foot of the hose of small and medium business by cutting payroll tax and addressing the burden of over-regulation, so that they can provide the jobs and growth of the future when mining goes back to bust.”
“If we miss this opportunity provided by the wealth pouring onto Mark McGowan’s money bin, we will have let future generations down.”