Labor’s fantasy ignores economic reality

Thursday 12 May 2022

The Malinauskas Labor Government is just three weeks out from handing down its first budget, but there are serious doubts over how they will deliver more than $3 billion in promises based on pre-election costings.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data shows inflation rose 4.7% over the 12 months to the March 2022 quarter for South Australia – the highest since 2008.

Leader of the Opposition David Speirs said Labor must be honest with South Australians about the economic challenges the state faces.

“South Australians are paying more for everyday items, yet Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan appear to think taxpayers won’t have to pay a cent more for their lofty promises that were costed before the election,” Mr Speirs said.

“How Stephen Mullighan thinks he’s somehow exempt from the pressure of rising inflation and interest rates without tax increases and budget blowouts is galling.

“Something’s got to give and Labor needs to be honest with taxpayers about how their first budget is going to impact the hip pockets of South Australians or the services they rely on. There is no magic money tree and I am really worried about what the future might hold for the state if Labor mismanages the budget.”

Shadow Treasurer Matt Cowdrey said Labor costed their election commitments with unrealistic assumptions about inflation.

“Labor is rushing their budget to lock in election commitments at pre-poll prices but we all know that inflation is running hot and that their costs will be blown out of the water, especially with public sector wage demands, shortage of key workers and disrupted supply chains,” said Mr Cowdrey.

“With costs rising quickly how can South Australians be expected to believe that Labor will deliver all its election commitments over the next four years without resorting to tax increases or larger public sector cuts?

“Inflation and higher mortgage repayments is a challenge for family budgets across the state and removing cost of living pressures should be Labor’s top priority.”