Labor’s lost surplus a broken budget promise

Labor’s lost surplus a broken budget promise

Posted on: 19 May 2023

Peter Malinauskas’ promised budget surplus has gone up in smoke – with a clearly agitated Stephen Mullighan telling Parliament “the budget will not be in surplus this financial year”.

Before the State Election, Labor vowed “there will be no new taxes, no tax increases and the state budget will be kept in surplus” – but their $233 million forecast surplus for 2022-23 announced in last year’s Budget has quickly evaporated.

It follows yesterday’s shocking news that South Australia has the single worst unemployment rate in the country – skyrocketing to a troubling 4.3 per cent – all while the state is in the grips of a crippling cost of living crisis, with nation leading inflation at 7.9 per cent.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said Stephen Mullighan’s admission is not just a broken promise, but a clear sign Labor can’t be trusted when it comes to managing the economy.

“Labor promised fiscal discipline, but what we’re getting is a masterclass is financial mismanagement,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Despite Peter Malinauskas’ pre-election pledge that the budget will be kept in surplus, just a year in and the wheels have well and truly fallen off that promise.

“This $233 million projected surplus vanishing in just twelve months raises major concerns over Stephen Mullighan and Labor’s ability to deliver on their commitments.

“Strengthening the state’s finances has quickly slipped down the priority list for Labor and leaves serious questions over their ability to safeguard South Australia’s financial future.”

Shadow Minister for Finance and Tax Reform, Heidi Girolamo, said Labor’s broken surplus promise casts a gloomy cloud over the upcoming State Budget.

“South Australians are already hurting during this cost of living crisis – with your everyday family $17,000 worse off under the Malinauskas Labor Government – and we fear there’s simply going to be nothing on offer for hardworking, middle income earners,” Ms Girolamo said.

“This shattered surplus promise not only reveals Labor’s inability to manage the economy, but highlights their misplaced priorities, leaving South Australian families to bear the brunt of an escalating cost of living crisis.”