Member for Willoughby Tim James has called for Labor to be honest with the people of Willoughby on their Budget blackhole lie, and instead focus on Labor’s cost of living crisis.
Mr James said the Minns Government is trying to shift the blame for its broken promises, wrong priorities and public sector union wage deal cost blowout.
“Labor’s decision to prioritise their deal with union bosses rather than the needs of Willoughby’s families, has seen them cut vital cost of living programs including Active Kids, Creative Kids and First Lap, to limit energy relief for NSW households and to risk vital infrastructure projects,” Mr James said.
“The impact on our local grassroots sports clubs, swim schools and providers of creative activities will be significant, and it’s our local families that will suffer.”
Opposition Leader Mark Speakman said the Labor Government has seemingly plucked a figure out of thin air, and hasn’t substantiated its claim that there’s a $7 billion blackhole.
“This is Labor’s Budget blackhole – and these attempts to sheet responsibility back to the former government simply don’t pass the test,” Mr Speakman said.
“The cause of Labor’s Budget blackhole is it’s unfunded public sector wages deal. Before the election Labor said that any public sector wage increase would be paid for through productivity gains. Its submission to the independent Parliamentary Budget Office showed a cost of $0 over the forward estimates.
“Labor now reveals that its 4.5% pay rise, which is yet to be accepted by all unions, will cost $618 million in 2023-24 and $2.5 billion over the forward estimates. Yesterday the Premier claimed to have found over $600 million in savings to pay for this broken promise – but again he can’t provide the detail to substantiate his words.
“Slashing Active Kids and slashing other cost of living programs are not productivity savings. These are hits on cost of living programs that will be paid for by NSW families.”
Shadow Treasurer Damien Tudehope highlighted the strong economic record of the Coalition government that confirmed two AAA credit ratings.
“Labor’s complaints about the State’s debt reek of hypocrisy – Labor supported every measure delivered in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and natural disasters, and supported infrastructure programs financed through debt. Despite these challenges, NSW retained two AAA credit ratings,” Mr Tudehope said.
“NSW State net debt is projected to stabilise at about 14 per cent of Gross State Product by June 2026, compared with a projected 26.5 per cent under the Victorian Labor Andrews Government at 30 June 2026.
“Without having identified any potential reductions in our State’s debt, its rich for the Treasurer to express shock at debt that has been forecast and known since before the election.
Mr Speakman said that the Coalition is proud of its economic management, record investment in schools, hospitals and infrastructure, and support for families, households and businesses.
“Chris Minns must take responsibility for the fact NSW households and families are paying the price for Labor’s broken promises,” Mr Speakman said.