Page 2311 - Week 08 - Wednesday, 5 June 2013

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They are caught out on so many things in this budget. For instance, state final demand in 2013-14 is only meant to be a quarter of a per cent. So we create this straw man almost. “Woe is us, we are faced by all this economic woe, we have battled through the GFC and our revenue has taken this big hit.” But the revenue has not taken a big hit. The revenue has grown every year and the revenue will continue to grow every year between this and the fourth year of the cycle by about a quarter of a billion dollars. The revenue grows.

The actual revenue we see is always greater than the budgeted revenue, and it has been so since 2007-08. I did not go back before that, but I could go back before that if the Treasurer wants to know. So they have this creation, and that is all it is, that somehow they are struggling because revenue has dipped. The revenue has not dipped. And if you look at the budget in the outyears, the revenue does not dip. The revenue continues to grow apace.

The problem is that the minister is caught in his own contradictions. And it is a contradiction. He is constantly claiming we have got our rating, and only we and WA have this rating, and we have got a good economy. Then why is the budget in such desperate straits? The revenue has increased every year. But the budget is still in desperate straits. The revenue will increase every year for the next four years. But the budget apparently is still in desperate straits.

He blames everybody but himself. He blames everybody but the person who is charged with and responsible for the good management of the ACT’s finance, the Treasurer. He is responsible. But seemingly the good news is his and the bad news is somebody else’s fault. We have heard him for four years beating the Tony Abbott drum and how bad it will be. But never once have we heard him take his own federal Labor colleagues to task and say, “Leave the ACT alone.”

In fact, for one budget he said that it was a really good thing, canning some of the funding from the National Gallery, because they will cut their regional visiting program and therefore people will come to Canberra. And on the radio that day, when it was put to Kate Lundy, not even she could buy that one. There he is, the chief cheerleader for the Rudd-Gillard budgets and the Rudd-Gillard mismanagement of the Australian economy, which of course also has dire effects on the ACT economy. There are cuts going on and have been going on in the federal arena in the last financial year and in the coming financial year. And we are the victims of that.

So we are apparently asked to believe that we will be in a recession and yet we are going to sell more than 4,000 housing blocks in that time. We are currently asked to believe that things are grim; yet revenue goes up by a quarter of a billion dollars a year. The budget goes from $4 billion to $5 billion in the cycle. But things are grim. Things are grim because, as with all Labor governments, they cannot pay their way.

It was simple today. I asked in question time today, “What is the cost of a ticket on capital metro?” “We do not know. We are doing that work.” We are steaming full steam ahead to build a rail system about which we know nothing, apparently, or again they know too much and they are not willing to share that information. If they had done their work properly and if they had done some calculations, they would know

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