Swan attacks Newman Govt ahead of State Budget
FEDERAL Treasurer Wayne Swan has called on the Queensland Government to return any dividends from state-owned electricity companies to taxpayers in Tuesday's budget.
It came as Mr Swan launched a stinging attack on the Newman government on the eve of Treasurer Tim Nicholls handing down his second budget.
Referring to last week's news of a 22% electricity price hike for Queenslanders, Mr Swan said Premier Campbell Newman had broken a promise to deliver lower power prices.
"Given Mr Newman promised to cut electricity prices for families and businesses, but they has actually slugged them with an increase of more than 22%, they should do the decent thing and forfeit any dividends from the government-owned electricity companies in the budget," Mr Swan told APN Newsdesk.
"They should return those dividends to families and businesses by honouring the rebate they promised them but have since reneged on."
Mr Swan said the extensive public service job cuts outlined in last year's state budget - handed down just months after Mr Newman swept Labor out of power - had taken a "sledgehammer to confidence" in the state.
He said the effects were still being felt throughout the state, pointing to weak job creation.
"Mr Newman has simply gone too hard, too fast with his savage cuts to jobs and frontline services, particularly in health and education," he said.
"While Queensland still has a large pipeline of private sector investment, Mr Newman's reckless job cuts have hit confidence, with Queensland the only state that has seen a decline in consumer confidence over the past year."
Mr Swan, who is in a battle to hold his Brisbane seat of Lilley in September, has been a fierce critic of Mr Newman's government.
The pair spent much of Mr Newman's first year in office trading insults on a range of issues.