Peter Gutwein

Premier of Tasmania

12 February 2020

Michael Ferguson, Minister for Finance

Dodgy Dave’s incompetence on show for Tasmania

Labor’s David O’Byrne is now on the public record demonstrating not only does he not understand the fundamentals of finance, but has also embarrassingly confused the Tasmanian Government’s income statement and balance sheet.

Tasmanians should not be hoodwinked by the secretly aspiring Labor party leader’s deliberate misrepresentation of the budget position outlined in the Revised Estimates Report released yesterday.

It is very clear the State Budget is in surplus,  this year and across the forward estimates  - not deficits like Mr O’Byrne claims. Then again, given that as the former failed Economic Development Minister his government never delivered a surplus, it’s no surprise he can’t recognise one when it’s there in black and white, on Page 4 of the Report.

This is just the latest in a string of silly gaffes from the shadow Treasurer, who failed to add up infrastructure spending properly and missed $210 million in last year’s budget, and now claims the Government is counting infrastructure money as income without spending it.  As the pretender to become Treasurer Mr O’Byrne should know Australian Accounting standards means that Canberra infrastructure funding is generally recognised in the year in which it is spent.

It is no wonder that under Labor 10 000 Tasmanian jobs were lost, the economy was in recession, business confidence was at dark lows and people were leaving the state in droves.

The Tasmanian majority Liberal Government has a long term plan to deliver a stronger economy, create jobs and generate more opportunities for Tasmanians.  With a nation leading economy, for the first time in 15 years and 20 000 more Tasmanian jobs created since coming to office in 2014, we are also committed to delivering the record investments in the essential services Tasmanians need – including health.

While Labor has called for additional solutions to health – on top of the record $8.1 billion delivered by the Tasmanian Liberal Government and more than 1000 additional health staff, including paramedics, nurses and doctors – when we announce an extra $600 million, Labor simply complains.

Labor must stop having a bob each way.

This investment will significantly help to address the demand on our hospitals and further improve outcomes.

As we have said before Mr O’Byrne, whingeing is not a policy, complaining is not a platform, and fudging the figures only demonstrates Tasmanians cannot trust Labor.

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