Gutwein smoke and mirrors Budget surplus

Tasmanian Labor
  • Series of programs unaccounted for
  • Funding for important programs would wipe out surplus
  • Raises prospect of programs being cut to fund Gutwein’s surplus
  • The Premier and Treasurer Peter Gutwein has today admitted that his claims of getting the state back into surplus in just two years cannot be sustained.

    Peter Gutwein has wiped out his own surplus in one fell swoop, conceding at a Budget Estimates hearing that unallocated funding for a series of programs means his forecast surplus is already dead in the water.

    Shadow Treasurer David O’Byrne said Treasurer Gutwein has cynically seen fit to leave these programs unfunded in the fourth year of the Budget forecasts.

    “These are a significant raft of government programs worth tens of millions of dollars a year,” Mr O’Byrne said.

    “They covering an important range of services including family violence, Volunteer Mental Health, bushfire prevention, the Arts and Events program and the Tas Alert website.”

    Peter Gutwein’s ministers have confirmed in other Estimates hearings that some of their unfunded programs will need to continue, for example the Red Hot Tips fuel reduction scheme for private landholders.

    “If they are not funded then significant sections of the Tasmanian community will be missing out on vital services, and if they are funded then the Premier’s surplus is a myth.

    “The programs are either funded or they’re not. They’re either cut or they’re not. The Premier cannot have it both ways.

    “What this budget delivers is unrealistic predictions for future surpluses and rehashed infrastructure promises Tasmanians have heard before but never seen delivered.

    “This is just more of the same from Peter Gutwein and once again it leaves Tasmanians behind.

    “Instead of demonstrating vision and forward thinking in the wake of COVID, all Tasmanians have been delivered is a re-run of promises that have already failed.”

    David O’Byrne MP

    Shadow Treasurer

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