ACT Labor’s Debt Smashing Family Budgets

It is now apparent that Canberra families will find themselves in a vicious cycle of ever more cost of living increases, engineered by the ACT Labor government to pay for its debt and borrowings, Shadow Treasurer Brendan Smyth said today.

“At the half way point of the Legislative Assembly’s Estimates process, the huge costs that Canberra families will have to bear are being realised,” Mr Smyth said.

Canberrans are now faced with:

  • Average general household rates increases of 10%.
  • Utility cost rises up to 8.5%.
  • Average transport cost increases of 8.25%.
  • Patient fees revenue collected at the Canberra Hospital to increase by 10%.
  • Revenue from parking fees to increase as much as 30%.

“Forcing many of these increases are the government’s capital works initiatives, which lack sufficient economic cost benefit analysis and project detail. This amounts to a blank cheque approach to spending.

“In the next financial year alone, the government’s new spending initiatives will increase the Territory’s Net Debt level by almost 133 percent.

“The budget anticipates that by 2017-18, the Territory’s Borrowings and Advances Received would be over $4.6 billion. Additionally, the government would incur Net Financial Liabilities of approximately $5.11 billion in the out years.

“Adding to costs is the government’s plan to retrospectively remove exemptions in the ACT’s payroll tax legislation to raise $40 million over four years. It could mean that households relying on contract work may not be able to make ends meet in the next financial year.

“At a time when the economy is slowing, this budget should be about helping Canberra families and businesses. Instead, the government is spending money it doesn’t have and expecting Canberrans foot the bill for this,” Mr Smyth concluded.