Budget claims a bit hard to swallow says Labor spokesperson
THE devil's in the detail warns Coffs Harbour Labor spokesperson Tony Judge in response to the State Budget.
He describes it as a con job and says the Coalition's only plan to reduce the growing deficit is further asset sales and privatisation which will lead to increased costs for families across the state.
On a local level he says Coffs Harbour MP Gurmesh Singh is trying to claim the credit for decades of hard work by the community on a number of key projects.
"Allocation of funds for the Coffs Harbour Boat Ramp and Woolgoolga multipurpose centre (both election commitments) is welcome.
"However, State MP Gurmesh Singh's claim that those funds were a result of his hard work is a bit hard to swallow. The real hard work on those projects was undertaken by committees of volunteers led by John Radford and Alastair Milroy.
"Both Labor and the National Party committed to fund those projects after seeing well developed and persuasive proposals from those committees,” Mr Judge said.
He urges residents to take a close look at the Budget and, in particular the growing deficit of $14.5 billion in 2019-20, compared to $2.8 billion just two years ago.
"It's a con job that hides a growing State debt problem through tricky accounting and over-optimistic revenue forecasting.
"The only plan to reduce the deficit is further asset sales and privatisation. That will lead to increased costs for families across the State, in the same way privatisation of the electricity network has coincided with greatly increased power bills.
"Selling off the farm to mask your debt problem is not prudent financial management, it's short-sighted and irresponsible.”
Mr Judge was also critical of the Budget cuts to public service jobs.
"Reducing back office support will inevitably result in police, teachers and nurses taking on the administrative workload that those public servants currently perform. That additional workload will be at the expense of time spent in their main roles.
"We are already struggling with slow economic growth. Job cuts will only make that situation worse.”