Mak­ing sense of where the dol­lars will go

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - STEVEN WARDILL THE VER­DICT

DEBT IT seems those in­come- earn­ing as­sets La­bor told us we had to hold on to aren’t so flash af­ter all. La­bor planned to pay $ 12 bil­lion in debt by us­ing two- thirds of their prof­its. In­stead, the Gov­ern­ment will take a hol­i­day from pay­ing into the public ser­vant de­fined ben­e­fit fund, strip money out of long- ser­vice leave and dump $ 4 bil­lion on to the as­sets to pay about $ 10 bil­lion. They’ll pump them for 100 per cent of their prof­its but this will only go to­wards the bot­tom line. JOBS CURTIS Pitt sure said the word “job” a lot in his Bud­get speech. Forty times to be pre­cise. How­ever, this may be more jobs than he ac­tu­ally de­liv­ers. La­bor’s so- called jobs Bud­get – its mantra through­out Jan­uary’s elec­tion – will have lit­tle im­pact on un­em­ploy­ment which is ex­pected to re­main stub­bornly high at 6.5 per cent for the next two years, eas­ing to 6 per cent in 2018- 19; ie: the Never Never. HEALTH RECORD spend­ing in health. Don’t we hear that ev­ery year around this time? So where will Queens­land Health’s “record bud­get” of $ 14.2 bil­lion go? Well, $ 2.3 bil­lion over four years will be fun­nelled to­wards ex­pand­ing front­line ser­vices and $ 361 mil­lion will go di­rectly to­wards ad­dress­ing the “wait­ing list to get on the wait­ing list”. We’ll wait to see what re­sults are de­liv­ered. ED­U­CA­TION FEW bosses will ac­tu­ally ad­mit to spend­ing on mid­dle man­age­ment. Not the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment. They spruiked yesterday about how they would pro­vide “en­hanced mid­dle man­age­ment in our pri­mary and spe­cial schools to help de­liver the cur­ricu­lum of the fu­ture”. Schools will also share in a $ 500 mil­lion fund with health to re­fur­bish class­rooms. Ex­pect a tug of war over the cash. TAXES WHEN­EVER a gov­ern­ment prom­ises no new taxes “in this Bud­get” you can ex­pect it in the next. How­ever, La­bor has made good on its com­mit­ment not to cre­ate new rev­enue streams. It must have been aw­fully tempt­ing too with rev­enue growth slashed from 6.1 per cent last year to 3.2 per cent in 2015- 16. The old coal cash cow isn’t milk­ing as much as it used to but trans­fer duty and GST are on the im­prove. Watch this space next year. IN­FRA­STRUC­TURE LA­BOR won plau­dits from unions for its $ 10 bil­lion build­ing pro­gram which sup­pos­edly will cre­ate 27,500 jobs. How­ever, it seems union bosses are easily con­vinced these days, given La­bor will make lit­tle dint in Queens­land un­em­ploy­ment this term. That’s be­cause there’s no money for new works and most of the spend­ing is for projects al­ready started on dis­as­ter re­cov­ery or jointly- funded fed­eral ini­tia­tives. It’s a long way from the $ 20 bil­lion the Gov­ern­ment was spend­ing on in­fra­struc­ture a decade ago.

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