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 Poor fella that Queensland—under Jackie Trad

12.06.19. Judith Sloan at The Australian is spot on the money again—may be say always?
Ms Sloan pulls no punches in identifying the Deputy Premier of Queensland Jackie trad as not having a clue about finances. Clearly, neither does anybody else in the kingdom of the Palace-Duck! All Queenslanders can only hope that Labor is consigned to the dust bin come the next visit to the polls.
I like to keep a running scorecard of the performances of the state treasurers. You won’t be surprised to learn that Queensland’s Treasurer (and Deputy Premier), Jackie Trad, has occupied the wooden spoon position ever since she pushed out the previous incumbent.

Source: Judith Sloan, News Corp

Spendthrift treasurer doesn’t have a clue

The fact is she doesn’t have a clue about running the state’s finances and cliches like “borrowing to build” are not helpful. She is not helped by a very weak bureaucracy, which becomes more bloated with every week.
When the Palaszczuk Labor government was first elected, promises were made that the excessive debt carried by the Queensland taxpayer — thanks to Peter Beattie and Anna Bligh — would be slowly paid down. There was even going to be a separate fund to achieve this.
Raids were made on the government superannuation fund and debt was shifted around between the ledgers of government-owned corporations and the general government sector. It was reminiscent of former prime minister Kevin Rudd’s deceptive pledge to be an economic conservative.
Under Trad as Treasurer, there is absolutely no intention to pay down government debt or constrain the size of the public sector. In 2018-19, general government sector liabilities will amount to $77.4 billion; by 2022-23, the figure will be $87.4bn, an increase of 13 per cent.
Note that government debt in Queensland is the highest in the country among the states.
Having lost its AAA credit rating some time ago, there is absolutely no possibility that Queensland will regain this top rating in the foreseeable future.
The bigger risk is the state will be marked down a notch or two.
Another serious failing of the Palaszczuk government is its complete inability to control its own employee expenses. (This failing is shared by other state Labor governments.) According to the budget figures, employee expenses will rise from $24.1bn in 2018-19 to $27.2bn in 2022-23, an increase of 13 per cent.
Trad might like to portray rising employee expenses as being associated with population growth and frontline services. The reality is far more complicated and the fact that the government spends more than $1bn on contractors points to a government that doesn’t believe in getting value for money on behalf of the taxpayer.
Notwithstanding Trad’s visceral dislike of the resources sector, particularly thermal coal, the Queensland budget would be in tatters were it not for the rise in royalties. In last year’s budget, royalties were expected to raise $4.6bn; the actual figure will be close to $5.4bn. In 2019-20, the expectation is that royalties will yield even more — $5.6bn.
And let’s be clear: the trivial budget net operating balance of $189 million for 2019-20 would be deeply in the red without this flow of royalties. Mind you, this hasn’t stopped Trad from breezily lifting the petroleum royalty rate from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent and asking other resource companies to make a “voluntary” contribution in lieu of royalty hikes. Biting the hand that feeds you is clearly part of Trad’s play book.
According to Trad, “budgets are fundamentally about choices and in this budget we choose to stay the course by continuing to invest in job-generating infrastructure and delivering better, essential frontline services for Queensland workers and their families”.
An alternative formulation is as follows: budgets are fundamentally about choices and in this budget we choose to continue the reckless spending, build up more government debt and expand the unionised public service.

{ 12 comments… add one }
  • Pensioner Pete 12/06/2019, 7:11 am

    The LNP opposition in Queensland simply does not have the ‘mongrel’ to be effective against the Puzzleduck/Triad Labor government. Despite this lack of bite by the LNP, the mood of Queenslanders living outside the South East corner of the State is one of anger at being the forgotten Queenslanders by Labor.

    Proof of this anger was seen at the recent Federal election when the Nationals convincingly won the seat of Barcaldine, the birthplace of the Australian Labor Party as a result of the shearers strike of 1891.

    • Botswana O'Hooligan 12/06/2019, 7:37 am

      Once you get outside Brisbane they are not liked at all. The irony of it all is that the State boomed along under the premiership of Joh who was supposed to be the biggest crook around. Newman tried to cut back on the public service by golden handshakes to those about to retire or who wanted to take voluntary retirement but as soon as these vandals got in the hired people like there was no tomorrow.

      • Pensioner Pete 12/06/2019, 7:57 am

        Bots: Of all the newly hired public servants, not one has been appointed to a rural location. When Newman conducted his purge, 70 families left this town, the effect upon this small outback town was catastrophic economically and socially, then of course the drought hit the following year.

        If the current Queensland Labor government had ensured a percentage of these newly appointed public servants were located in rural towns, the boost to the local economies would be significant, along with the social benefits at no cost to the State, rather, a boost to the State coffers due to the economic flow on effect.

    • Pensioner Pete 12/06/2019, 10:33 am

      This action to slow down/freeze public servants pay rises is what I would call a Catch 22 situation for the Queensland Labor Government come next election as the public service rises up against Labor in revenge, thus enhancing the chances of electoral victory by the LNP. Refers: https://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/politics/queensland/new-team-to-hunt-for-700-million-in-savings-from-public-service-20190611-p51wl8.html

  • Lorraine 12/06/2019, 8:11 am

    Labor in charge, it never ever ends well, and we in Victoria are the next on the line of failed .

  • Honeybadger 12/06/2019, 8:46 am

    Another feckless treasurer who along with Palachook should be out on her ear next year given the results of the federal election. They spent $320,000. to bring Gore here and gave $100,000 to their own drought stricken farmers. Says it all. If the Libs can get their act together, those numbers should be part of an ad along with losing AAA rating which I had forgotten about.
    Alan Jones alluded to the fact there are moves afoot to replace the Liberal leader Deb Frecklington who apparently has a subterranean profile. Once again an appointment about gender.

  • John E 12/06/2019, 9:18 am

    Last evening I watched the opposition leader (Deb Frecklton) having a whinge about the Budget. Later in the night former MHR Fiona Scott on the Paul Murray Live show absolutely tore the budget and the Qld. Treasurer to bits. It just showed what weak leadership we have in the Queensland Opposition.

    • Peter Sandery 12/06/2019, 3:19 pm

      Not only weak leadership, JE, incompetent political advisers as well; the LNP has been given dozens of free kicks from the government over its past two terms yet these so called advisers have either come up with poor advice or their advice has not been acted upon. If the LNP gain the treasury benches at the next election it will be because of the errors of the Qld ALP, not the political prowess of the LNP.

  • wal1957 12/06/2019, 9:35 am

    Liebor are always happy to spend other peoples money to help prop up their voter base. Qld is a basket case. Both major parties are on the nose and are riddled with incompetence.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 12/06/2019, 10:11 am

    Rudd buggered the health system for Queensland and then of course went on to bigger and better things Nationally.

  • DT 12/06/2019, 1:29 pm

    Premier Campbell Newman and his LNP Government were too hard on Queensland.

    And look what replaced them.

  • Penguinite 13/06/2019, 10:20 am

    Any fella under Trad would be poor! Or at least hard-up? Or Tragic? Somebody stop me!

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