LIA FINOCCHIARO MLA
LEADER of the Opposition
Leader of the Opposition
CLP Opposition calls for full Territory Budget, Estimates and PEFO
Given the Territory is on the cusp of lifting major COVID-19 restrictions, the Gunner Government should hold a full Budget for the 2020-21 year as well as a full Estimates Committee process and a Pre-Election Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), Opposition Leader Lia Finocchiaro said today.
“A month ago, the Gunner Government rushed through a $3.4 billion two page half Budget with no paperwork or detail and it hasn’t been transparent about it since. The Government hasn’t even confirmed that Budget actuals will be provided for Thursday’s Public Accounts Committee (PAC) meetings,” Mrs Finocchiaro said.
“The Gunner Government should do its job and hold a full Budget in June to set out the 2020-21 year. Territorians deserve to see the full state of the Gunner Government’s books before the election. This is about the proper accountability and transparency of the Government.
“The Gunner Government has a knack for trying to hide the truth. Through this crisis we’ve seen the snap decision made on the solar feed in tariff, the instant closure of the Home Improvement Scheme, the covert decision to ban Territory Day fireworks and cancelling question time in Parliament. You can’t trust this Government and we should have a full Territory Budget.
“The Gunner Government can’t have its cake and eat it too. If it’s going to ease COVID-19 restrictions, there’s no excuse not to have a full Budget and face up to scrutiny.
“The Territory was in a dire financial position even before COVID-19 and the situation now will be much worse.
“The Estimates Committee should also be convened as normal to examine the Budget after it’s handed down. This committee fulfils a vital purpose scrutinising the Budget and all areas of spending. The community would be at a loss not to have that scrutiny, especially in an election year.
“The PEFO should also be conducted in line with normal processes.
“Hopefully, we can keep the COVID-19 crisis under control and restrictions can start being lifted, allowing the community to get back to normal. That means the Government should do its job and conduct a full Budget, Estimates and PEFO,” Mrs Finocchiaro concluded.