SA suffers $200 million budget blow under Labor

SA suffers $200 million budget blow under Labor

Posted on: 14 December 2023

The Albanese Government’s mid-year budget update makes for grim reading for South Australians – punching a $200 million black hole in the Malinauskas Labor Government’s own budget, meaning the promise of a return to state surplus is under threat.

Before the 2022 election, Labor vowed “the state budget will be kept in surplus” – but their $233 million forecast surplus for 2022-23 announced in the last financial year quickly transformed into an estimated $249 million deficit.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook has revealed the Commonwealth’s estimated GST payments to South Australia this financial year have been revised down by $206 million - from $8.788 billion to $8.582 billion.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said it’s a severe blow to SA’s economic stability.

“When it comes to managing the state’s finances, Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan are completely failing to navigate the economic challenges and it’s the same old Labor - spending big and driving SA into record debt,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“Labor simply cannot be trusted to control spending or to manage the state’s finances and it’s South Australians who always suffer as a result.

“Stephen Mullighan saw the significant GST and state tax revenue projection increases after COVID as the magic pudding that would keep on giving.

“Unfortunately, the reality is, he spent this metaphorical Christmas bonus before it ever made it to Treasury coffers, and now South Australians are going to pay.

“We already know Labor’s much touted promise of a surplus last financial year went up in smoke – and we fear we may be in store for the same again this year.”

Shadow Minister for Finance and Tax Reform, Heidi Girolamo, said the Malinauskas Labor Government has shown a staggering lack of fiscal responsibility.

“Since being elected, Peter Malinauskas and Stephen Mullighan have increased operating expenses across government by nearly $2 billion per year. The ongoing expenditure that is now locked in across future years shows that Labor budgeted like the good times were never going to end,” Ms Girolamo said.

“Stephen Mullighan needs to make it clear to South Australians when he is going to balance the books, because taking on more debt just to run the state doesn’t help a single South Australian family put food on the table.”