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The cost of the SA Budget 2015/16

Premier Jay Weatherill and Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis have delivered a disastrous budget for all South Australians. 

Labor has settled and announced they will be creating even fewer jobs than they forecast last year. 

Unemployment has hit a whopping 7.6% and Labor has not taken the opportunity to address the jobs crisis. 

The ESL will be increased again.  The Repat will be closed, and other hospitals will be downgraded. 

State debt is growing, there are no new infrastructure investments, and state owned assets are being sold off. 

Below is an introductory excerpt from my Budget Speech, to read the full speech please click here.

Mr WINGARD ( Mitchell ) ( 20:38 ): I too rise to speak to the Appropriation Bill. As we take a look at this year's budget it is an ideal time to take stock and see what it really means for the people in our community. It is wonderful to hear the transport minister prattle on, but when we hear the Treasurer spruik his message in the chamber or on TV, what does the budget really mean to South Australians is the question we are left asking.


I have been out and I have asked. I have doorknocked. I have been to the local shops. I went to the pub to listen over a beer. I have been to the schools in my community and to sporting events and the message was very clear. People were quite blunt in their response and no-one was very kind to Treasurer Koutsantonis, but there was one stand-out factor that, to a person, almost everyone raised with me when I brought up the budget. The key question was: why does South Australia continue to slide so far behind all the other states?


I asked a number of people if they thought this was a jobs budget, as described by Treasurer Koutsantonis. Do you know what they said? They recited South Australia's unemployment figure: 7.6 per cent, and it was noted that we had fallen behind in South Australia. We were the worst state in the nation. That is right, this Labor government has taken us straight to the bottom. Youth unemployment is an even bigger issue in the south of Adelaide, as members opposite would also know, and that was also raised in my conversations. People want to know why it is so much worse here in Adelaide and across South Australia compared with other states. There were 8,700 full-time jobs lost in South Australia last month, a figure that is absolutely staggering, and it is what they are talking about out in my community.


This year's budget predicts employment growth of 1 per cent for 2015-16; however, last year's budget predicted employment growth of 1.25 per cent for 2015-16, so the supposed jobs budget is actually predicting lower employment growth for 2015-16. This one percentage point growth is the lowest growth of all mainland states. There is no surprise there, and that is what people are telling me when I go out and speak to them on the streets.


National employment growth will be 1.5 per cent and employment growth in Victoria is also estimated to be 1.5 per cent, but not here in South Australia. In fact, the Treasurer has downgraded our employment growth to 1 per cent. In 2014-15 Labor predicted 1 per cent employment growth for that financial year, but actually delivered only 0.5 per cent growth. As we said, that has resulted in a 7.6 per cent unemployment rate in May 2015, which is the highest in the nation. That is what people are talking about when the Treasurer talks about a jobs budget; they are talking about our 7.6 unemployment rate, that is the highest in the country—mainland and Tasmania. Tasmania has surged ahead of us.


They also talk about the deficit of this budget. The deficit for the financial year 2014-15 is $279 million, which is an increase of almost $100 million on the December 2014 Mid-Year Budget Review estimate of $185 million deficit. The blowout from $185 million to $279 million occurred despite the government raiding $459 million from the MAC. When you say it quickly, a blowout from $185 million to $279 million does not sound that bad, but it is horrendous. The people of South Australia are catching on, and they know that is how this government operates.


In relation to GST from the federal government, the government's GST revenue over the forward estimates is $892 million. More than last year's budget estimates, this $892 million was unbudgeted and is therefore a bonus. GST revenue in 2018-19 will be $1.66 billion more than GST revenue in 2014-15.


Stamp duty is another thing. The Treasurer spruiked on about stamp duty on non-real property transfers and non-residential real property transfers being abolished. They were commitments South Australia made back in 2001 as part of the intergovernmental agreement on the GST, and various commitments made by the Labor government since then have not been implemented. In the 2005-06 budget Labor promised they would be abolished by 2009-10—another broken promise, another false promise, another example of this government's financial mismanagement.


The Treasurer has talked about relief for households in this budget. Well, I go out and talk to people and yes, they are happy that the Save the River Murray levy has been abolished; that will save them $40 per annum. However, the government continues to slug, on average, homes valued at $500,000 an extra $205 a year due to emergency services levy increases in the last two budgets. This government has just put its hand in the back pockets of homeowners and ripped cash out like you would not believe through its hikes in the emergency services levy. People out there I speak to know, they are aware, they see what is happening and they know that this government is just ripping money out of their back pockets to pay for its financial mismanagement.


The ESL hikes do not even add one extra dollar to our emergency services as well. We know they are good people working hard in our communities, giving back, but when people have to double the amount they are paying in their emergency services levies and not $1 extra is going to emergency services they feel very, very upset.

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