Philosophical Conversations Public Opinion Junk for code
parliament house.gif
Think Tanks
Oz Blogs
Economic Blogs
Foreign Policy Blogs
International Blogs
Media Blogs
South Australian Weblogs
Economic Resources
Environment Links
Political Resources
South Australian Links
"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

SA's romance with the money men « Previous | |Next »
May 29, 2003

There is a report in Wednesday's Australian Financial Review (subscription required) that confirms my judgement about the Rann Labor Government. It is a government beholden to dry economics. It deeply desires to be loved by the hard money men.

The report says that Treasurer Foley is preoccupied with cutting costs and balancing the budget even though SA has low state debt. Foley is aggrieved that SA does not enjoy a Standard & Poor's AAA credit rating----the only mainland state not to do so.

Why not? The reason says Foley, is that:

"SA has been living beyond its means for far too long. I want to change that. My sole goal is a strong financial position for SA . I want us to be recognized for outstanding financial management. The only avenue to that goal is to build strong accrual surpluses by cutting govrenment spending in lower-priority areas, resisting the temptation to spend cash surplus windfalls and imposing strong budget discipline."

Note Foley's the "sole goal". There is no mention of broader economic development issues nor sustainability ones. He is a slash and burn finance man.

And those low priority areas? Why they included big cuts to health and education in the last state budget.

The second budget will be handed down this afternnoon. The media reports (based on leaks) are all positive. Lots of money on the River Murray, some money for child protection and rehabilitation for sex offenders in prison, more counsellers in primary schools, homeless etc. It could be merely announcing the repackaging of old money to give a shining gloss to Foley's lean and mean.

It was announced on the news Foley's 2003 Budget urged South Australians to treat the battle to save the Murray River as the moral equivalent of war. To help the war effort a new tax was then announced. South Australian residents will pay a $30 annual Murray River levy while non-residential ratepayers, including farmers with properties larger than 10 hectares, will pay an annual levy of $135. Pensioners are excluded. The new tax will generate about $20 million a year. Half would be spent on specific restoration programs and the other half set aside for SA's contribution to initiatives across the Murray Darling Basin to provide water for increased
environmental flows.

It was a lean and mean budget. There is a budget surplus of $312 million.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:55 AM | | Comments (0)