Budget shows Qld is costly state
BUDGET pain will bring relief for some, according to Brisbane pain medicine specialist Leigh Atkinson.
But while Associate Professor Atkinson congratulated the Queensland Government yesterday on its allocation of $39.1 million over four years for relief of chronic pain, other interest groups appeared to be more in agreement with Opposition claims that the budget would deliver more debt, more deficits and more taxes.
Gympie Region Mayor Ron Dyne was yesterday in two minds, congratulating the government on its plans to boost spending on education, health and police but calling for a return of infrastructure subsidies to councils for water, sewerage and drainage projects “to assist our over-burdened ratepayers”.
“The solar initiative is to be supported as the assistance to pensioners via the electricity rebate,” he said.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland president David Goodwin said the budget “could have had more fairness, equity and a focus on business”.
Mr Goodwin said the government’s commitment to fiscal discipline and bringing the state closer to “a sustainable position” was commendable, but “will not yet restore the state’s vitally needed AAA credit rating”.
Australia’s largest disability service provider, the Endeavour Foundation, said the budget would make Queensland “the worst state for a person with a disability to live”.
Foundation CEO David Barbagallo said: “Although the $12.5 million increase in funding announced (in the budget) was an improvement on last year, on a per capita basis, Queensland is still $200 million a year behind the national average.”
Opposition leader John-Paul Langbroek said the government had delivered “more debt, more deficits and a new tax on Queensland businesses (levied on waste)”.
Shadow Treasurer Tim Nicholls said that while other states were delivering surplus budgets, the Queensland budget would be in the red until 2014, “with total deficits of nearly $6.5 billion”.
His Shadow Police Minister Vaughan Johnson accused the government of “armed robbery” with a doubling of gun licence fees, affecting particularly farmers and sporting shooters.
“This is an unequalled increase even by the standards of (a) government which has raised petrol prices to some of the highest in the nation, car registrations to the most expensive in the nation, (along with) electricity and water prices.”