Opinion: Treasurer sells buy now, pay later Budget
Opinion: Treasurer sells buy now, pay later Budget

It’s buy Treasurer’s line now, pay later

Cameron Dick stared down the lens of the cameras to deliver what he'd imagined would be the killer line from the State Labor Government's much-anticipated economic update.

"When the private sector falls down," the Queensland Treasurer enthused, "governments must step up."

Dick, the Churchie-educated former lawyer who once served as attorney-general to the sinking South Pacific island nation of Tuvalu, showed again why he's considered one of the best political orators currently in the business.

Calm and confident, he delivered the narrative about numbers like a seasoned treasurer, not someone who assumed the role just 120 days ago when predecessor Jackie Trad was forced to resign.

Yet while Dick sounded the part, many Queensland businesses will be wondering if the government has confused standing up with sticking its head in the sand.

For a start, the Government's four-year $51.8 billion "infrastructure guarantee" was supposedly providing "economic stimulus in the short to medium term".

But Dick's guarantee appears to be as good as some dodgy used-car warranties given capital spending in 2019-20 fell $1.3 billion short of what was promised.

The Government's fiscal manifesto was focused also on supporting small business because this was "crucial for … creating jobs".

Yet rather than creating employment, Treasury predicts another 70,000 jobs will be culled during 2020-21, adding to the 205,100 lost during last year's lockdown.

At least the Government has a real plan to present to voters before going to the poll on October 31, right? Not quite.

Thirty days after voters have had their say, the Government will produce a proper Budget, one that will actually forecast what its plan should achieve over the next four years, not just the next 10 months.

After the bruising election to come, Dick will just be hoping for another chance to stand up.








Originally published as It's buy Treasurer's line now, pay later