ADVICE FOR JOHN ROBERTSON: READ THE BUDGET BEFORE REPLYING TO IT
NSW Treasurer Mike Baird today implored John Robertson to read the 2013-14 NSW Budget, after the Labor leader incorrectly claimed in his Budget Reply that the State’s credit rating “has not been reported in the State’s Budget”.
“I suggest Mr Robertson have a look at Table 1.6 in Budget Paper 2,” Mr Baird said.
“The heading ‘Credit Metrics’ ought to give him a clue.
“In addition to the quantitative treatment in Table 1.6, there is a qualitative assessment in Box 1.2, also in Budget Paper 2.
“The giveaway there is once again in the heading: The Fiscal Responsibility Act and the State’s Credit Rating.”
Mr Baird said Mr Robertson’s inability to find the credit metric in the Budget would be matched by his inability to retain the State’ AAA credit rating if he were ever allowed near government.
“The Budget and Budget Reply highlighted a stark contrast between responsible economic management and fiscal ineptitude,” Mr Baird said.
“Another highlight was Mr Robertson’s claim we face a ‘phantom’ revenue challenge.
“If he read Labor’s last Budget, for 2010-11, he’d see a forecast for GST and federal grants in 2013-14 that was $1.7 billion higher than the forecast today, and a forecast for State taxes that was higher by $213 million.
“After more than half a term as Opposition Leader, Mr Robertson has yet to articulate a single cogent economic idea.
“We have managed to reinvest in frontline services and infrastructure by cutting back waste and recycling assets on the State’s balance sheet.
“Labor has opposed every measure we have taken, but has yet to explain how it would fund vital infrastructure such as the North West Rail Link, the WestConnex motorway, or the revitalisation of Newcastle.
“Budget week has provided the people of NSW with the clearest of economic choices – a responsible vision for the State versus tired old union slogans.”