The Labor Government’s Budget will damage Queensland with record debt and hurt households with new taxes, Liberal National Party Leader Deb Frecklington said today.
“This is a Budget of taxes, debt and unemployment,” Ms Frecklington said.
“Five new taxes, an $83 billion debt bomb and the worst unemployment rate in Australia is Labor’s plan for Queensland.
“Labor has played to its strengths in this Budget – taxing Queenslanders and drowning them in debt.
“Five new taxes will see $2.2 billion ripped from the pockets of Queenslanders and shoved in the Government’s coffers.
“On top of the five new taxes, Queenslanders are about to be slugged with four new fees and charges.
“These new fees and taxes will rip some $2.25 billion out of our economy and hurt businesses and households in every corner of this state.
“This is an obscene tax grab and a massive breach of trust by Annastacia Palaszczuk.
“Labor took to the election a plan for four new taxes to raise $491 million.
“We now learn it is five taxes and four new fees to raise a whopping $2.25 billion, including a monstrous tax grab of $1.3 billion for their new waste tax.
“The taxes are an admission from Labor that it has no plan for Queensland, just a plan for taxes, debt and high unemployment.
“Labor has run this state for almost a generation but they still can’t keep Queensland afloat without imposing new taxes.
“Managing the household budget is more and more challenging with record water prices, record power prices and record car registration fees under Labor.”
Ms Frecklington said Labor’s debt trajectory would burden Queensland for the next generation.
“Queensland’s debt bomb will increase to a record $83 billion in the next four years as Treasurer Jackie Trad slaps more money on the taxpayer’s credit card,” she said.
“We have nothing to show for massive royalty hauls from the state’s resources sector because they are being tipped into the black hole of Labor’s debt.
“The record debt means funds that could be going to our schools, hospitals or frontline services will instead be sucked into feeding Labor’s binge on debt.
“It’s not bad luck that has caused $83 billion of debt. It is bad government and Labor only has itself to blame.”
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Queensland’s interest bill was costing the state’s economy $3.7 billion a year.
“There is no quick fix for a debt of this size,” he said.
“Labor’s debt bomb is costing the Queensland economy $10 million a day, $420,000 an hour, and more than $7 thousand a minute.
“The problem we’re all in now is the result of many years of irresponsible financial management by Labor.
“When Jackie Trad says we face an infrastructure crisis it’s because Labor slashed $3 billion in infrastructure spending each and every year over the last term.
“Labor are simply playing catch-up after three years of chronically underspending on infrastructure.
“We’ve lost our AAA credit rating and Labor’s binge on debt will only put Queensland’s recovery further out of reach.”
Mr Mander said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had failed to deliver on her target to reduce unemployment below 6 per cent despite more than three years in the job.
“Stagnant wages growth, high unemployment, a youth jobs crisis in regional Queensland and flat-lining business confidence are all symptoms of Labor’s economic mismanagement,” he said.
“On Labor’s preferred measure, unemployment in Queensland has risen from 6.1% to a whopping 6.5% – the equal worst in the nation.
“Youth unemployment in outback Queensland has now reached 54.2 per cent.
“The potential of too many young Queenslanders is being wasted under this Labor Government.”
Ms Frecklington said her reply to the Budget on Thursday would outline the LNP’s plan to build a better future for 5 million Queenslanders.
Facts and figures
- $2.25 billion in new taxes and fees
- Five new taxes worth $2.2 billion – despite election costings predicting just $491 million of new Labor taxes
- Waste tax – $1.3 billion
- Wagering tax – $367 million
- Land tax – $311 million
- Property investors tax – $132 million
- Car stamp duty – $100 million
- Four new fees including Vets and Labour Hire Companies.
- Higher unemployment rate in 2018-19 Budget year of 6.25%, up from 6% in the 2017-18 Budget.
- Failed to deliver more than $500 million of infrastructure promised last year (total capital purchases and grants $9.6 billion vs a budget of $10.1 billion)
- The unemployment rate is expected to deteriorate more than previously predicted in 2018/19.