Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2010 Week 04 Hansard (Thursday, 25 March 2010) . . Page.. 1532 ..
MS GALLAGHER: to a 10 per cent reduction in our GST revenue as of 1 July—next year a 10 per cent reduction in our GST revenue. If we had not responded, and responded seriously, and responded immediately—
Mr Hanson: Why didn’t you respond to the GFC—
MR SPEAKER: Order! Treasurer, one moment, thank you. Stop the clocks. Mr Hanson, you are continually interjecting at a high volume as well. You are also now warned.
MS GALLAGHER: Thank you, Mr Speaker. If we had not responded, and responded quickly, I think I would have been facing a barrage of criticism from the opposition for not doing anything, for not taking seriously this reduction in our expenditure.
Mr Coe: Like last year.
MS GALLAGHER: The budget plan that we have put in place, which Mr Coe now interjects on, was a seven-year plan that allowed us the flexibility to respond to our savings task over time—
Mr Coe: A seven-year plan geared to what? You taking over as Chief Minister?
MS GALLAGHER: A seven-year plan that allowed us to have that time to respond, and respond to the pressures as they were on budget day. We have had some additional pressure placed on our budget, and we need to respond. That is what the government is doing. You do not like it. You do not like the fact that we have made some decisions. You do not like the fact that there is a staffing freeze on. Yet I imagine that if we had not implemented something like that, I would be criticised as well.
You are fast becoming irrelevant as an opposition, because you are not consistent. You are complaining about the budget and the pressure on the budget. Then we take a measure to restrain expenditure and you are criticising that as well.
MR SPEAKER: Mr Smyth, a supplementary?
MR SMYTH: Treasurer, how many positions are affected by the introduction of the staffing freeze?
MS GALLAGHER: I am sorry, Mr Smyth, I could not hear.
MR SPEAKER: Can we have some silence!
MR SMYTH: The Chief Minister was being rude again. Treasurer, how many positions have been affected by the introduction of the staff increase?