Shadow Treasurer, Michael O’Brien
This is a tax and spend budget that would even make Wayne Swan blush.
This budget has no economic plan and no jobs plan. While the New South Wales economy powers ahead with tens of thousands of new full-time jobs and new investment, Tim Pallas’ budget makes it harder for Victorian families and businesses.
Labor’s budget shows that state taxes have jumped by $3.7 billion or 20.7% in just two years. That’s less money in the pockets of Victorian families to spend and for businesses to invest.
You can’t tax your way to prosperity but Tim Pallas doesn’t understand this.
Stamp duty has gone up by $1.6 billion in just one year.
Insurance taxes are up 6.3% in 2016-17 to $1.2b and land taxes are increasing by 28.3% in 2016-17 to $2.2 billion.
It is Victorian taxpayers who are making the sacrifice in this budget while Tim Pallas squanders their hard work.
Whilst wage growth forecasts in the broader economy are down, public sector wages growth has gone through the roof.
Public sector wages are up a staggering 15.2% or $2.8 billion since the election. At the Pre-Election Budget Update, Public Sector Wages was $18.49 billion but is now forecast at $21.3 billion.
That 15% increase is the cost of backroom deals, not frontline services.
But despite the massive hike in taxes, Tim Pallas is failing to fund key services and investments and plan for the future.
There is no money in this budget to re-open the police stations that have been closed under Daniel Andrews, nor is there enough money for the frontline police Victoria’s growing population desperately need.
This budget won’t make any meaningful improvement to Melbourne’s crippling traffic congestion.
There is nothing in this budget to prepare Victoria’s economy for the loss of jobs that will come with the closure of manufacturing at Ford, Toyota and Holden and related industries.
Tim Pallas seems to be looking to fund Melbourne Metro with a funny money scheme that would be more at home in Panama than Treasury Place.
This budget also confirms the introduction of Daniel Andrews’ very own carbon tax with a new levy on coal. Tripling tax on the fuel that powers 90% of Victoria’s homes and businesses will inevitably lead to higher power prices for Victorian families and businesses.
Compounding Daniel Andrews’ new carbon tax is the double-whammy of a reduction in electricity bill concessions for pensioners and low income earners from $165 million to $134 million.
This budget marks 18 months of the Andrews Government but we are losing jobs to NSW, Victorians are being hurt with cost of living pressures, crime rates are up while police stations are closing, and traffic congestion is worse.
Treasurer Pallas’ budget speech was about as convincing as a Johnny Depp court video but without the substance.
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