Labor slams $182bn NSW budget as ‘debt, debt, debt’
NSW Labor has slammed the 2022-23 NSW budget as a record-spending “cash splash” for votes that will need to be paid for with “debt, debt, debt”.
Opposition Leader Chris Minns said the NSW Treasurer spent a billion dollars for every minute he spoke when he announced the budget in parliament on Tuesday.
Mr Minns spoke to the media an hour after receiving the NSW budget and emphasised the total debt for the state was estimated to hit an “unsustainable” record-breaking high of $182bn.
“This is the largest debt figure NSW has ever had, both in absolute terms or as a percentage of gross state product, in our history,” he said.
The Labor leader said the budget was motivated by the upcoming state election and accused NSW Treasurer Matt Kean of “spraying money in every direction at a rate of knots months before the general election”.
He said the enormous spending announced by the government was an expensive Band-Aid to fix the government’s continued lack of investment in frontline services, particularly the overstretched healthcare system.
Mr Minns also characterised the economic projections as overly optimistic.
“There are heroic assumptions in relation to growth that underpin so much of the huge spending that Mr Kean announced moments ago,” he said.
“They expect the NSW economy to grow at unprecedented rates.”
Shadow treasurer Daniel Mookhey said the “ridiculous” budget revealed $42n of new spending that would be paid for with “debt, debt, debt”.
He said the government had overpromised with the budget, which he declared was “grim news for households and horrible news for state finances”.
“Mr Perrottet’s budget plan is buy now, pay later. NSW deserve better than this,” he said.
“His plan to pay for it is debt, debt, debt.”
Both Mr Mookhey and Mr Minns said the proposed property tax for first-home buyers would create a dangerous precedent for the state.
Mr Mookhey labelled it a “very complicated system” and said some homeowners would be paying those debts off for the rest of their lives.
NSW Labor will issue a budget reply with a detailed response to the state budget on Thursday.
Originally published as Labor slams $182bn NSW budget as ‘debt, debt, debt’
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