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Queensland Budget Response

June 5th, 2013

I ran this up yesterday, but have only just had time and Internet access to post it

Despite the usual attempts to shift blame to the previous Labor government, Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls’ budget speech shows that the real problem is inadequate tax revenue. The boost provided by the housing and mining booms has passed, but the demand for public services continues to grow. Attempts to solve the problem by cutting staff, supposedly without reducing services, are doomed to failure, as is already becoming apparent.

Because it is the lowest taxing state in Australia, Queensland’s difficulties are even worse than those of other states. The Budget contains some belated recognition of this, with the deferral of the irresponsible proposal to raise the payroll tax threshold, already the highest in Australia, even further. Scrapping this proposal altogether would do more to ensure the fiscal sustainability of the state budget than the unsustainable cuts imposed last year.

Ultimately, however, the solution to this problem must be found at the national level. While the Budget’s complaints about the meanness of the Federal government strike a familiar chord, in the present context they are fully justified

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  1. Garry Claridge
    June 5th, 2013 at 17:01 | #1

    I’m not sure that not raising the Payroll Tax threshold will contribute to economic sustainability, as many small businesses are approaching that threshold.

    Some of these businesses have payroll overheads as much as 45% of gross profit.

  2. James
    June 11th, 2013 at 23:00 | #2

    According to the ABC the figures are in on Queensland Public Service cuts. “March figures from the Public Service Commission show there are about 13,000 fewer public servants who earn less than $60,000 a year, compared to the same time last year. But there are almost 5,000 more public servants earning more than $100,000 a year.”

    That sounds about right. From experience most of the newbies in this group would be primarily focused on career enhancement, mainly by bolstering those above them, while shifting accountability anyplace they can hide it. Roll over Kafka, Queensland’s on the move, more policy, more reviews, more management but apparently, in these straitened times, no one to provide the services: oh no, we can’t afford that!

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