MEDIA RELEASE

25 November 2020

 

Tim Quilty says Budget is saddling future generations with a lifetime of debt

Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty has called the 2020 Victorian Budget an exercise in intergenerational theft.

“We have stolen most of a year from our children’s life through the lockdowns, and now we are going to saddle them with interest costs and a debt that won’t be repaid during their lifetime,” Mr Quilty said.

“We’ve always known Labor are good at running up debts, but this budget breaks all the records, and our kids and grandkids will be paying for it.”

Treasurer Tim Pallas unveiled plans to spend $49 billion over the next four years to drag Victoria out of a recession in a budget “built on jobs and … focused on people”.

But Mr Quilty said the Andrews Government’s determination to stifle business since March has left a hole which it is now saddling everybody with debt to fill.

“This Government has been determined to not just eliminate COVID-19 but to cripple small business by restricting them to the point of suffocation,” Mr Quilty said.

“Treasury believes 200,000 jobs were lost in April and May, then 73,000 more during the second wave.

“When the Premier points his finger of blame at the virus, he’s got three more pointing back at him – lost jobs, ruined businesses and struggling communities.

“If Mr Andrews had been more selective in his coronavirus measures, the economic impact would have been greatly reduced.”

Mr Quilty highlighted payroll tax relief and stamp duty waivers as two measures which tick big boxes.

“The Liberal Democrats believe in low taxes, so it is good to see employers being given incentives to hire new workers and homebuyers being given a helping hand with the waiver of stamp duty on homes worth up to $1 million,” Mr Quilty said.

“These two measures will help regional Victoria immensely, especially since only a tiny proportion of properties outside the big cities would have a price tag north of a million.

“However, it is disappointing to see that these tax cuts are being funded by debt rather than good economic management.”

Mr Quilty acknowledged that the coronavirus has had a global financial impact and said Mr Pallas had an unenviable task.

“The role of Treasurer is one that my experience as an accountant has taught me to respect, but also to be very wary of,” Mr Quilty said.

“There are always difficult decisions to make, always losers and winners, but the Andrews Government is following the traditional Labor path of using other people’s money to spend up big.

“I am certain the impact of these deficits and debts on our state economy will continue for generations, so while some may be celebrating this big spend, others will be looking further down the track at the inevitable hit on future economic growth.

“Spending now comes at the cost to our kids in the future.”

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819