Michael Ferguson’s first budget has shredded the Liberal Party’s credibility when it comes to economic management.
The Rockliff-Ferguson Government will borrow $3.5 million every day for the next four years, debt will rise to $5.2 billion and Tasmanian taxpayers will foot a $611 million interest bill.
Mr Ferguson will bring in record deficits each year – record deficits that will likely be higher given the borderline fraudulent expenditure forecasts. Mr Ferguson expects Tasmanians to believe that while the Liberals have increased spending by an average of eight per cent per year, they will suddenly find some budget discipline and reduce that to 0.4 per cent.
At the same time, the Rockliff-Ferguson Government continues to fail to deliver and in fact will make cuts to total spending over the next two years with the already critically under-funded health system taking a hit of more than $126 million next year.
On top of this, Mr Ferguson has made the stunning admission that his budget is so out of control he will have to task Treasury with coming up with a debt stabilisation plan – and that can only mean cuts, new taxes, or both.
And to rub it all in, the $305 million of cost of living relief Mr Ferguson has bragged about is actually a cut compared to last year’s budget.
It’s frankly unbelievable that in the middle of a cost of living crisis Mr Ferguson and the new Premier are cutting cost of living support to Tasmanians.
Not content with his record as the failed former Health Minister who wrecked the health and hospital system, Michael Ferguson can now claim the title of the Treasurer who wrecked the Budget at his first try.