Budget Warning for State Gov: Voters Reject Service Cuts, Privatisation

New research from The Australia Institute has found that two out of three voters want the State Government to make up the $517 million GST shortfall announced in the Federal Budget by increasing taxes on wealthier South Australians and property investors.

The least popular way for the government to balance the books in its upcoming Budget would be to either cut or privatise services such as public transport, health and education or to increase taxes across the board.

“With South Australia facing a considerable reduction in GST revenue, voters want to see those who can afford to contribute a little more being asked to do so while the government maintains the essential services that everybody relies on,” said Noah Schultz-Byard, The Australia Institute’s SA projects manager.

“Cutting services like public transport, health and education is the least popular option for budget repair in South Australia, according to the survey, with privatisation of those services coming in second last.

“There is broad support for increasing taxes on wealthier South Australians and property investors, with it being the most popular way to balance the budget amongst supporters of all age groups and political parties, including Liberal Party voters.

“The second most popular way to make up the GST shortfall was for the tax cuts announced in last year’s State Budget to be reversed.

“Budgets are about choices and they tend to reveal a government’s priorities. This research has shown that, if the government goes down a path of cuts to services and privatisation, it will be out of step with the wishes of a majority of South Australian voters.”

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