Shadow Treasurer Dr Steve Thomas says that the State Government should once again be thanking the iron ore industry for its great financial position, instead of once again claiming the credit for themselves.
“Another “positive outlook” on the State’s AA+ credit rating from S&P represents a status quo position on the current mining boom this state has experienced since 2019,” Dr Thomas said.
“Obviously a state that is looking down the barrel of another $4 to $5 billion surplus this financial year, when the other states are facing major deficits, is going to look good by comparison.
“But none of the other states have had the benefit of a mining boom as a result of worldwide stimulus spending on infrastructure which includes lots of steel made from our iron ore.
“But there is not one mention in the Treasurer’s media release of iron ore, or indeed any other booming revenue source. His boast of “outperformance” of other states rings hollow without acknowledging the iron ore industry boom that puts the steel into that WA fiscal bell.
“In fact, the Treasurer studiously avoided mentioning his massive income at all.”
Dr Thomas said that state fees and taxes were also up significantly, with payroll tax and duties raising hundreds of millions of dollars over budget expectations.
“Revenue has been raining down on Mark McGowan, which is great for the State of Western Australia,” Dr Thomas said.
“I simply think that the Premier should have to acknowledge it.”
Dr Thomas said that instead of basking in the credit the McGowan Government should be using the boom to prepare the State’s economy for the future, including investing in economic reform.
“I am looking to the upcoming State Budget in May to see a plan to transition the WA economy to post-pandemic growth.”
“This will require economic reform, including tax reform, to support businesses both large and small to flourish and grow.”
“I would hate to see another wasted opportunity through the delivery of another self-congratulatory but visionless budget.”