ACT 2007-2008 Budget has not been getting the frontline attention, praise and/or scrutiny that some sectors would like, with it being the third or forth story on most news bulletins after train wrecks and mob bosses but the comment is still coming in.
ABC Online carries this piece with the expected negative responses from the opposition. Amongst the rhetoric is the apt point that the Govt. has not put any new money towards dealing with the drought. Also of note is the comment by Unions ACT’s Kim Sattler stating “funding for disability and mental health services was meaningless because of the skills shortage.”
The boost to Mental Health services is sorely needed but given that recruiting drives to bring workers in from overseas in the last couple of years seem to have had lacklustre success Sattler has a valid point that it is not likely a problem that can be fixed by throwing money at it when there is no-one to do the work.
In the CT piece Cathy Alexander spells out some of the numbers and also quotes Stanhope’s response to the drought issues as not having been factored into the budget “because scientists had said it would rain soon.” If that isn’t a head in the sand approach I don’t know what is. So much for leadership and forward planning.
In a second piece Cathy examines this budgets role in the electoral cycle.
Senator Gary Humphries has entered the fray with his assertions that any economic growth in the Capital can mainly be attributed to things not of Stanhope’s makings, namely a massive injection of Commonwealth GST funding. The CT’s economics editor Peter Martin is of a similar view stating that while Stanhope has done the sensible thing in accumulating a surplus the drought, Commonwealth spending and housing tends are all likely to effect the ACT economy in ways that the Government will have little control over.
The previous 2007 budget posts and comments can be found HERE