LNP claim CQ would be hammered by latest Queensland budget
OPPOSITION leader Deb Frecklington has lashed out at the State Government's budget for not doing enough for CQ.
Ms Frecklington accused Labor of "taking Central Queensland voters for granted”, saying they would damage Queensland with record debt and hurt households and small businesses with a new tax.
She warned that Central Queenslanders would suffer from the record car registration fees and said the Rookwood Weir project was "still hopelessly stalled under Labor”.
Ms Frecklington also pointed out that the Fitzroy capital grants are down 23 per cent from last year and 21.9 per cent compared to the LNP's last budget in 2014/15.
"Labor has played to its strengths in this Budget - taxing Queenslanders and drowning them in debt,” she said.
"Five new taxes will see $2.2 billion ripped from the pockets of Queenslanders and shoved in the Government's coffers.
"On top of the five new taxes, Queenslanders are about to be slugged with four new fees and charges which will rip some $2.25 billion out of our economy and hurt businesses and households in every corner of this state.”
LNP Shadow Minister for Small Business Fiona Simpson said the new waste tax in today's State Labor Budget would cost small businesses and their customers $1.3 billion over the next four years.
"It's a cruel and crass tax that takes more than Labor is giving in any cash incentives to business,” Ms Simpson said.
"The Budget papers reveal the waste tax is a cash grab with the Labor Government's grubby hands keeping one third for themselves.
"This budget gets a fail for ripping off our State's overtaxed and overworked small business sector who create the majority of jobs but who have been rewarded with a new tax.”
Ms Frecklington said Labor's debt trajectory would burden Queensland for the next generation.
"Queensland's debt bomb will increase to a record $83 billion in the next four years as Treasurer Jackie Trad slaps more money on the taxpayer's credit card,” she said. "We have nothing to show for massive royalty hauls from the state's resources sector because they are being tipped into the black hole of Labor's debt.
"The record debt means funds that could be going to our schools, hospitals or frontline services will instead be sucked into feeding Labor's binge on debt.
"It's not bad luck that has caused $83 billion of debt. It is bad government and Labor only has itself to blame.”
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said Queensland's interest bill was costing the state's economy $3.7 billion a year.
"There is no quick fix for a debt of this size,” he said.
"Labor's debt bomb is costing the Queensland economy $10 million a day, $420,000 an hour, and more than $7000 a minute. The problem we're all in now is the result of many years of irresponsible financial management by Labor.
"When Jackie Trad says we face an infrastructure crisis it's because Labor slashed $3 billion in infrastructure spending each and every year over the last term. Labor are simply playing catch-up after three years of chronically underspending on infrastructure.
"We've lost our AAA credit rating and Labor's binge on debt will only put Queensland's recovery further out of reach.”
Mr Mander said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk had failed to deliver on her target to reduce unemployment below 6 per cent despite more than three years in the job.
"Stagnant wages growth, high unemployment, a youth jobs crisis in regional Queensland and flat-lining business confidence are all symptoms of Labor's economic mismanagement,” he said. "On Labor's preferred measure, unemployment in Queensland has risen from 6.1 per cent to a whopping 6.5 per cent - the equal worst in the nation. Youth unemployment in outback Queensland has now reached 54.2 per cent.
"The potential of too many young Queenslanders is being wasted under this Labor Government.”
Ms Frecklington said her reply to the Budget on Thursday would outline the LNP's plan to build a better future for five million Queenslanders.