'Government is slugging us to prop up spending elsewhere'
MEMBER for Southern Downs James Lister has slammed the Queensland budget, released today, as he says the hard-working people of the region are being used to prop up spending elsewhere.
Mr Lister said the budget was a big disappointment for the electorate, because residents were "slugged” with new and increased taxes but were given nothing in return.
"As I looked through the budget papers, I see huge amounts are being showered on Labor's pet locations, but we have been left out in Southern Downs,” Mr Lister said.
"I see that there's $800,000 odd to fix the roof at the Stanthorpe Hospital, but that is maintenance - not new money.
"And the funds that they have factored for safety upgrades at Glen Niven Dam, are not new money either.”
Mr Lister said the government had introduced five new taxes, as well as four new fees and charges, but there was still no funds for road upgrades on the Southern Downs.
"These new fees and taxes will take some $2.25billion out of our economy, which will hurt businesses and households in every corner of this state,” he said.
"The Labor government's election pledge was for four new taxes to raise $491million, but we now see that it is actually five taxes and four new fees to raise a whopping $2.25billion, including a monstrous tax grab of $1.3billion for their new waste tax.
"The government is slugging us, the productive people of Southern Downs, to prop up their huge spending elsewhere.
"People are already paying high electricity, rates, water, health insurance and car rego bills, and drought is hurting our farms and small businesses, and now we see these new money grabs.”
Two local projects received specific funding commitments in the budget, with the lion's share going to a major water way.
The Glen Niven Dam received $5 million for upgrades that will ensure it meets safety requirements.
Stanthorpe Hospital was given $870,065 to ensure its $886,000 main building and western annex roof replacement remains on track.
The debt situation was mortgaging the future of the next generations, Mr Lister said.
"Queensland's debt will increase to a record $83billion in the next four years as the government runs up more money on the taxpayer's credit card,” he said.
"If Labor can't run the government on what we earn today, how the hell will we repay their debt and pay the bills tomorrow?
"It's not bad luck that has caused $83 billion of debt. It is bad government.”