LNP rules out forced redundancies and asset sales
AN LNP Government would increase Labor's public sector hiring freeze, slash $750 million in waste across the government, and borrow nearly half of what Labor would to pay for its election costings.
The party's costings, released on Thursday after sustained attacks from Labor over supposed cuts for public service employees, show no cuts through forced redundancies or asset sales and no new taxes.
But they do reveal a Frecklington Government will use $1.7 billion in borrowings to help fund its promises despite earlier describing Labor's $4 billion in borrowings as an election slush fund.
LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander reaffirmed his commitment that an LNP government would deliver a budget surplus within four years.
The party's two key election infrastructure projects - the New Bradfield scheme and the duplication of the Bruce Highway - would still be years away from construction, with only enough funding provided for planning and studies.
Mr Mander said it would give an LNP government time to "make sure we do the right planning and get this right".
The costings documents contains $5.05 billion in election promises, with further spending yet to be quantified past the four-year forwards.
Labor had been talking up the "$26 billion spend" the LNP would need to pay for.
Mr Mander said the two per cent efficiency dividends, similar to that proposed by Labor for Queensland Health, would be applied across all departments except for Queensland Health.
It would generate about $200m in savings every year.
A "better procurement" strategy would save $100m this financial year and $200m a year to 2024.
Extending Labor's internal replacement block for non-frontline staff by six months would save $1.6bn over four years.
Frontline staff would be widened to include COVID-19 contact tracers, fisheries officers, biosecurity staff and employees of the chief health officer.
Under the LNP, the public service would rise by 7,400 full-time workers in the next four years, in line with population growth.
Mr Mander said the LNP's commitments would be delivered through "careful budget management", not asset sales or forced redundancies.
He described the savings measures as "modest and achievable" and "fiscally responsible and possible".
"This is 2 cents out of every $1," he said of the savings that all directors general will be asked to find.
The savings will not be made through reduced wages or grants.
Mr Mander accused Labor of misleading voters about the LNPs financial strategy.
"For the past four weeks Labor has run a baseless scare campaign," Mr Mander said.
He accused Treasurer Cameron Dick of "verballing" him during the campaign by claiming the LNP had ruled out using the borrowings announced in September.
"Some of those borrowings will be used to fund this," Mr Mander said.
"The money is there."
He said the processes to borrow the money were already put in place by the Treasury.
Asked about the high number of commitments paid for from "unallocated funds" Mr Mander said it was half that of what Labor had promised through unallocated money from various programs.
Mr Mander criticised the Palaszczuk government's economic record, saying the nation-leading unemployment rate was a "result of Labor, not of Covid".
"It has been proven they do not support Queensland businesses," he said.
"This is the largest and fastest debt surge in the history of Queensland and it hasn't finished yet."
Treasurer Cameron Dick accused LNP leader Deb Frecklington of being "mean and tricky" after the Opposition's costings were released.
"The LNP's big bold visionary plans have come to nothing, they funded almost nothing when it comes to the supposed New Bradfield Scheme, or four-laning the Bruce Highway," Mr Dick said.
"This idea the LNP would borrow no new money is a hoax as well."
"Frankly Deb Frecklington cannot be trusted, she remains the most serious risk to economic recovery in this state"
"The frontline will be starved of essential services (under the LNP's plan)."
Mr Dick confirmed the government had secured the $4bn in borrowings required to pay for Labor's election promises.
Originally published as LNP rules out forced redundancies, asset sales as costings released