LNP Senator O'Sullivan says budget not in crisis ... yet
NEWLY-elected LNP Senator Barry O'Sullivan admitted there is no budget crisis today as the message from the Abbott Government's Federal Budget becomes increasingly confusing.
The Abbott Government sold its raft of budget cuts on the basis the nation's finances are at crisis point.
But Mr O'Sullivan agreed with fellow speakers Blair MP Shayne Neumann and Suncorp economist Darryl Conroy at the Ipswich Chamber of Commerce budget breakfast that the nation's economic situation is not an emergency - yet.
"The crisis is not today. I accept we don't have a crisis today, I accept that. But if we didn't deal with the structural issues in this budget, I promise you that the levy of $7 would be a hell of a lot more in a decade from now," he said.
The pair sat side by side, even shared a glass of water.
But Mr Neumann and his LNP counterpart Mr O'Sullivan were at polar opposites when discussing the Federal Budget.
Mr Neumann said the budget delivered many cuts to services and broken promises, particularly regarding the petrol excise.
"I don't recall during the last campaign at any stage Tony Abbott saying he was going to put a $2.2 billion tax by increasing the indexation in relation to petrol. At no stage did we see that mentioned at all," he said. Economist Darryl Conroy said Australia's performance over the past decade and through the global financial crisis was remarkable.
Mr Conroy said with the mineral and energy boom beginning to slow down, government revenue will fall and tax payers will have to endure more charges.
"The mining boom provided many years of increasing budget surpluses, this accompanied rising welfare payments and the holy grail of tax cuts," he said.
"We'll see less government revenue, we're now going to see the continuation of more government deficits across all forms of governments and the consequent cuts to the likes of welfare spending and then bring up that really dirty word. We might call them levies or temporary payments - they are taxes. And we are going to endure a period of those rises."
"The pipeline of investments and infrastructure investments is telling us that by about mid-year this year we do start to slow down on many of those projects as they complete.
"However as the mining sector now starts to turn on its heels and prices have peaked way back in 2011, we are now starting to see that gas sector slow a little, we are going to see a reversal of some of those influences."