WA Budget: Labor slams ‘tired, desperate’ government

WA LABOR leader Mark McGowan has said Treasurer Mike Nahan’s State Budget reeked of desperation and a government out of ideas.

Dr Nahan’s budget revealed a State deficit of $3.9 billion and debts of $33 billion, tipped to rise above $40 billion.

Mr McGowan said that was an unacceptable burden for future generations, and believed the budget offered no hope.

“This is a budget of desperation,” Mr McGowan said.

“It’s a budget of shaky privatisation options and job losses.

“They have run out of ideas; run out of energy. They have no plan for the future.

“The deficits are worse than forecast and household charges are higher than promised.”

Among Dr Nahan’s plans to raise revenue is the sale of Western Power, but Mr McGowan said that move would be counterproductive.

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“Only WA Labor has a plan to diversify the economy and create jobs,” he said.

“The privatisation of Western Power will only lead to job losses and higher electricity prices for all West Australians.

“It’s a like a tradie selling his tools to pay the mortgage. It only makes things worse.”

Shadow Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the budget was indicative of a tired government.

“For years Mr Barnett and the various iterations of his Treasurer have claimed responsibility for the economic good times,” Mr Wyatt said.

“They are now responsible for delivering us the economic bad times.

“The real fiscal crime is that the Liberal Government failed to prepare our State’s finances for the inevitable change in our economic circumstances.

“Debt at record levels and deficits of record amounts; this is the Liberal legacy in WA.

“Mr Nahan is seeking to claim the money from asset sales without a plan to actually make the sale. No wonder they can’t manage the books.

“A tired budget from a tired old Government.”