Canberra Liberals must explain how they will fund election promises

The Canberra Liberals have between $404.0 million and $497.4 million in unfunded promises according to independent analysis commissioned by UnionsACT.

This figure includes only recurrent expenditure, and does not include Tuesday’s announcement by the Canberra Liberals of a $400 million capital works project at the Canberra Hospital, or other capital works commitments.

The Canberra Liberals have not explained to the public how they intend to fund their promises, which would require the Liberals to cut public sector jobs, freeze wages, scrap spending on social programs, or abandon any possibility of a budget surplus.

Independent analysis commissioned by UnionsACT was conducted by Angela Jackson, a public sector economist with 15 years’ experience. Ms Jackson checked and verified the many public election promises made by the Canberra Liberals, and reviewed the Government’s costings of those promises.

Over four years, the un-funded costs are between $404.0 million and $497.4 million. The range is because the vast majority of the Canberra Liberals’ promises are un-costed.

If the Canberra Liberals retained a commitment to a budget surplus within 4 years, they would have to:

  • Break most or all of their promises, or
  • Sack public sector workers (approx. 1000+ FTE), or
  • Freeze public sector wages and superannuation, or
  • Make substantial cuts to social and community service spending, or
  • A combination of the above.

ACT public sector collective bargaining, including wage and superannuation negotiations, commences shortly after the ACT Election.

UnionsACT made a formal written request to Jeremy Hanson to provide costings on 1 August 2016. There has been no response.

The summary and detailed costings are available here:

The following quotes are attributable to Alex White, secretary of UnionsACT:

“It is time for the Canberra Liberals to explain to the public how they plan to fund their election promises.

“If the Mr Hanson and Mr Coe dispute these figures, they must provide their own detailed costings to the public.

“The cost of Mr Hanson’s promises to public sector workers, such as nurses, teachers and other public servants is uncertainty. Are jobs at risk? Will wages and superannuation be frozen?”