The Marshall Government’s 2019-20 Budget, which doubles down on tax cuts for wealthy property investors while slugging regular South Australians with increased fees and charges, is a disappointing missed opportunity, independent think tank The Australia Institute says.
“Increased fees and cuts to services are the price South Australians are being forced to pay because of declining revenue and the Government’s choice to cut taxes,” said Matt Grudnoff, The Australia Institute’s Senior Economist.
“Shifting revenue raising from wealthier South Australians to regular people and families is the last thing the Government should be doing in a slowing economy.
“This Government is doubling down on tax cuts for wealthy property investors, which will give $65,000 per year more to investors with $10m of property while increasing car registration and hospital parking fees for ordinary South Australians.
“This is a Budget designed to make inequality worse, which is the opposite of responsible management in the current economic conditions.
“Cutting thousands of jobs and millions of dollars from the public service is what happens when a Government is failing to collect adequate revenue.
“The South Australian Government is starving the Budget of revenue and, as a result, broad cuts to services will have a very real and negative impact on the lives of many South Australians.
“Recent research from The Australia institute has shown that asking wealthier South Australians to pay a little more would have been a far more popular way to bring the Budget back into surplus than to increases costs across the board and cut essential public services.
“There are far better ways to stimulate economic activity than spending billions of dollars on roads many years in the future. Building a highway in 2025 will do nothing to boost a sluggish economy today.”