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