LNP will need mas­sive tax rises to fund its prom­ises

Townsville Bulletin - - OPINION -

IN­STEAD of con­tin­u­ing their de­struc­tive cam­paign to talk down Queens­land, LNP MPs might start ex­plain­ing where the money is com­ing from to fund prom­ises they are mak­ing with­out reli­able cost­ings and iden­ti­fied rev­enue sources.

The only con­clu­sion – sup­ported by the LNP leader’s own state­ments – is that in of­fice they would need to mas­sively hike state taxes, fees, and charges and de­stroy the highly com­pet­i­tive state tax sys­tem Queens­land en­joys com­pared with other states.

Shadow Trea­surer Scott Emer­son is the lat­est to con­tinue the LNP’s on­go­ing cam­paign of re­lent­less neg­a­tiv­ity by talk­ing down re­gional economies.

Re­gional Queens­lan­ders know that ad­dress­ing high youth un­em­ploy­ment has been a pri­or­ity for the Palaszczuk Gov­ern­ment and it’s why we in­tro­duced our Back to Work pro­gram with $ 10,000 and $ 15,000 pay­ments to re­gional em­ploy­ers hir­ing un­em­ployed or long- term un­em­ployed job­seek­ers.

It’s also why we ex­tended it to in­clude a $ 20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost grant for en­gag­ing 15 to 24- yearolds.

The Back to Work pro­gram has seen more than 5500 job­seek­ers se­cure em­ploy­ment in re­gional com­mu­ni­ties since July 2016 and its suc­cess saw funds in the re­cent State Bud­get to ex­pand it into south­east Queens­land.

By con­trast, the LNP has been too lazy to de­velop an eco­nomic plan even af­ter more than two years in op­po­si­tion. They have failed to iden­tify how they will fund their prom­ises now that the LNP has sup­pos­edly ruled out as­set sales.

I use the word “sup­pos­edly” be­cause Tim Ni­cholls has a track record of say- ing one thing and do­ing an­other. For in­stance be­fore the 2012 elec­tion he was against as­set sales, but was their big­gest ad­vo­cate when Trea­surer in Camp­bell New­man’s gov­ern­ment.

Also as Trea­surer he said with­out as­set sales the only op­tions were more mass job cuts or higher taxes.

If he has ruled out both as­set sales and forced job cuts, tax rises are the only op­tion left – by the LNP’s own ad­mis­sion. CUR­TIS PITT, Trea­surer and Min­is­ter for Trade and In­vest­ment.

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