WA Labor leader Mark McGowan said on Thursday the 2016-17 state budget offers no hope to the thousands of West Australians looking for work.
“It’s official,” he said. “The Liberal-National government's legacy to WA is a financial wreck, record debt and deficit, job losses and privatisation confusion.”
The budget, announced by WA Treasurer Mike Nahan on Thursday, sees net debt forecast to rise to an estimated $33.8 billion by June 30, 2017 – the highest in WA history.
Mr McGowan said Thursday’s announcement was a budget of desperation.
“They have run out of ideas and energy with no plan for the future,” he said.
"The deficits are worse than forecast and household charges are higher than promised.
“For three years in a row they have borrowed for everyday spending.”
Mr McGowan said the government have failed to diversify the economy and create jobs.
“It’s like a tradie selling his tools to pay the mortgage – it only makes things worse,” he said.
Shadow treasurer Ben Wyatt describe Thursday’s announcements as “a tired budget from a tired old government”.
“Dr Nahan is seeking to claim the money from asset sales without a plan to actually make the sale,” he said.
“No wonder they can’t manage the books.
Mr Wyatt said the Liberal government has failed to prepare the state’s finances for the inevitable change in the state’s economic circumstances.
“For years Mr Barnett and the various iterations of the Treasurer have claimed responsibility for the economic good times. They are now responsible for delivering us the economic bad times,” he said.
Earlier in the day when Mr Nahan presented the budget to parliament he said his government would make no apologies for spending money in recent years to keep up with growing demand.
“Faced with the explosion in demand from the huge population increase, this government had no choice but to borrow to build the infrastructure to meet that demand,” he said.
“We make no apologies for meeting that challenge. We make no apologies for transforming the city, for transforming the regions, for lifting the whole state up with the rising tide of the resources boom and the opportunities it presented.
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