Making sense of where the dollars will go
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.