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‘Just a glossy document’: Labor’s recovery plan slammed

The Palaszczuk Government's hyped economic recovery plan has been rubbished as "just a glossy document" that lacks detail after the Premier refused to reveal if it was based on any modelling.

Annastacia Palaszczuk and her senior ministers have repeatedly used the 43-page document as press conference prop and referenced it when challenged for details about their economic plan.

But quizzed yesterday on whether it was based on any modelling and if that modelling could be released, Ms Palaszczuk failed to directly address the point, saying the plan was "there for everyone to see" and encouraged voters to have a look.

But economists who have read the plan seized on the lack of detailed economic data being released before the election and slammed the government for failing to outline "how, what, when and where things will take place".

Labor’s economic recovery plan is light on details, according to economists. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Labor’s economic recovery plan is light on details, according to economists. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

They said the lack of economic data also made it impossible to assess the Opposition's proposed spending promises and how they would pay for them.

Adept Economics director and former Treasury official Gene Tunny said the economic recovery plan was "just a glossy document with lots of nice icons and descriptions of what (the Government is) doing but it's not strong analysis of what's happening in the economy".

And he rejected the Government's argument that the COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review released in September provided enough detail for voters to make informed choices about spending promises.

He said the Government should have released a full budget with four-year projections instead of just one year of estimates contained in the review.

"We're having this election campaign, we're having all these lavish spending promises into the future and they could end up meaning higher taxes and charges because the Government's saying 'we're not going to sack public servants but the Opposition, if it follows through to get a surplus, it's going to have to sack public servants'," he said.

"Well, the Government's faced with the same fiscal and economic outlook as the Opposition so if it's not going to sack public servants that means that if it wants to balance the budget eventually it will have to increase taxes and charges so that's why it's such a huge problem that we don't have a budget."

 

Deputy Premier Steven Miles. Picture: Alix Sweeney
Deputy Premier Steven Miles. Picture: Alix Sweeney

 

Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Transport Minister Mark Bailey. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

 

He conceded the COVID-19 pandemic had created uncertainty that made forecasting difficult but Treasury could still "give us an idea of just how bad things could be".

"It does sound like they have done that for Treasurer Cameron Dick, which is why he is saying the LNP can't achieve a surplus in 2023-24," he said.

"OK, that's possibly true but show us the numbers, show us the work, prove it or demonstrate it."

He called for both sides to commit to following the Commonwealth's lead and release a full fiscal outlook before each election so there was "full transparency" and Queenslanders could "have a decent and thorough public debate on all of these policies".

A Queensland Government spokesman said the economic recovery plan clearly outlined that it would "support around 55,000 jobs through capital works and other initiatives including the $50 billion infrastructure guarantee.

He said the fiscal and economic review also contained modelling on GSP growth to the end of 2021 and unemployment through the June quarter in 2021.

"In stark contrast, the LNP's plan to rush to a surplus in just four years will results in cuts across the board," he said.

 

 

Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland general manager of advocacy Amanda Rohan said an effective economic recovery plan needed detail.

"What the Palaszczuk Government's economic plan lacks is any detail of how, what, when and where things will take place," she said.

"What it should include is the timeline of the rollout of what projects will be actioned, when and where they will be taking place.

"What the costs of those projects will be and importantly, how they will be funded with details of the economic and jobs benefits.

"Right now, what's most concerning is Queensland has no Budget, and with so many announcements being made, there's no disclosure on how they will be funded.

"Queenslanders should know initiatives are costed, funded and what's the expected return on investment and how it all works cohesively together, to drive our economy forward beyond it all just being individual announced projects."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Originally published as Labor's recovery plan 'just a glossy document'



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