The inexperienced Rebecca White has made a major blunder in her response to the State Budget.
In her press release yesterday, Ms White states:
“The $650 million ‘injection’ the government is hoping to trick Tasmanians with includes more than $329 million in Federal funding for the Mersey and funding for beds Health Minister Michael Ferguson has already announced.”
This claim about the $329 funding for the Mersey being part of the $650 million injection is completely wrong. The only Federal Mersey funding included is around $15 million of residual funding in relation to the previous funding arrangements.
The fact is, expenditure on the Mersey has not changed. It was in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 Budgets (except for a minor change in indexation). All that has changed is the funding source.
Ms White has made the rookie mistake of confusing expenditure with funding. A very basic error.
This major blunder shreds whatever financial credibility Labor and Ms White might have left. Last month, Ms White claimed that the last Budget’s record health spend included money for the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment. It doesn’t. This is the second major blunder in a matter of weeks, and demonstrates why the inexperienced Ms White is not ready to govern.
No wonder they don’t want to do an alternative budget – they can’t even read ours.