MEDIA RELEASE: Spending, not revenue, is the problem — Stonehouse
Western Australia’s youngest Member of Parliament has today attacked the major parties for scrapping the vehicle licensing concessions enjoyed by local councils as a means to fix the budget, labelling it a “cash grab”.
“Politicians are responsible for creating our budgetary and fiscal mess. But rather than tightening their own belt and cutting spending in their own departments. They’re jumping the picket fence into their neighbour’s backyard and they’re taking what they reckon looks nice.
“In this case, it’s a $17.6 million windfall over the next three years.
“It creates a perverse outcome where councils who manage their books wisely and are popular among their ratepayers are being raided to fund the economic recklessness of another layer of government.
“We know what this means for households. If councils have to pay for vehicle registration, they’ll either have to cut back on services or pass the bill onto ratepayers.
Mr Stonehouse also took aim at recent measures by the Government that attempted to repair the budget by raising more revenue rather than cutting existing spending.
“We don’t have a $32 billion debt because we have not taxed enough; we have a $32 billion debt because we spend too much. And there’s plenty of fat that we can cut.
“While other states pursued a privatisation agenda, Western Australia has acted like a hermit. Western Power, the TAB, Freemantle Port — pick your asset, sell it and use the money to repair the budget.
“Spending on health has increased from $3 billion to $9 billion in the last 10 years and it now gobbles up close to 30% per cent of the budget. That should be the first place we look for savings”.