Labor’s $44 billion debt bomb ticks as Peter Malinauskas cuts energy rebates

Labor’s $44 billion debt bomb ticks as Peter Malinauskas cuts energy rebates

Posted on: 14 June 2024

The average South Australian family has been ignored for crucial energy bill relief during a cost of living crisis – and in a cruel move pensioners and concession card holders have had power bill relief cut in Peter Malinauskas’ tax windfall driven State Budget.

Labor’s 2024/25 State Budget is underpinned by historic tax revenue which highlights that South Australians’ pain has been Peter Malinauskas’ gain. Despite Labor promising no tax increases, South Australians are paying more tax than ever before.

Debt will balloon to more than $44 billion over the forward estimates, anchoring taxpayers to interest repayments of more than $5 million per day, despite more than half of the costs for the North-South Corridor project and new Women’s and Children’s Hospital not included.

With more than $9 billion in additional revenue compared to when Labor was elected, what does South Australia have to show for it?

  • Record ramping
  • Some of the highest electricity prices in the world
  • Highest unemployment and inflation in the country
  • Housing crisis
  • Skyrocketing crime

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said the average South Australian family remains more than $20,000 worse off under Peter Malinauskas, with Labor’s new cost of living relief a drop in the ocean.

“After three budgets, South Australians must ask themselves this question – am I better off under Labor? The answer is a resounding no.” Mr Cowdrey said.

“South Australia has record ramping despite Peter Malinauskas’ promise to ‘fix it’, we’re paying some of the highest energy prices in the world, we have the highest inflation and

unemployment rates in the nation, there’s a chronic housing shortage and crime is out of control.

“As the cost of living crisis worsens, instead of providing relief like energy rebates for all South Australians, Peter Malinauskas has cut the initiative all together leaving South Australia the only State Government to not be providing energy bill relief.

“In delaying the North-South Corridor and new Women’s and Children’s Hospital projects, Peter Malinauskas has unleashed a debt bomb on future generations of South Australians with debt almost guaranteed to pass $50 billion beyond the forward estimates.”

Shadow Minister for Finance and Tax Reform, Heidi Girolamo, said she feared for the economic state of South Australia.

“Don’t let the numbers fool you, Peter Malinauskas’ budget is an inflation driven surplus,” Ms Girolamo said.

“That’s why so many families are struggling to pay their mortgages, that’s why so many businesses are shutting their doors – the cost of living and cost of doing business is out of control.

“Peter Malinauskas has snatched tax after tax after tax from South Australians and in his State Budget, Labor gives nothing back.

“Now South Australians are on the hook for debt worth more than $44 billion and that doesn’t even include half the cost of the North-South Corridor project or the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

“This will be a bill that every South Australian will be forced to pay.”