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More Red, Less Green: How to get a budget back in black?

20 July, 2009

The Queensland Opposition Leader John-Paul Langbroek is, according to the ABC, “going for a different approach”, and thinking “long-term solutions” rather than “quick fixes”.

If his LNP party wins the next state election, he plans to put Queensland’s tattered credit rating and bloated budget in order. Langbroek’s proposals include the establishment of an economic advisory council and the restoration of the state’s fuel subsidy.

Sorry? I thought there was mention of a credible plan to restore the AAA credit rating? Yet this proposal include reinstating a costly policy that has only recently been removed from the budget. I am interested to see where he plans to make the proposed savings.

And as for long-term solutions, in order to make businesses more efficient – and more energy-efficient – in the long-run, is allowing the state (and subsequently tax-payers) to absorb 10 cents/litre of fuel the best way forward? Despite the relative demand inelasticity of petrol, requiring users to bear the full cost is more likely to result in reductions in consumption – however slight – but probably less likely to get the LNP back in government.

Without more details, it would seem the LNP is offering Queenslanders not only less green but more red before getting back to black.

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