Premier Mike Baird’s praise for the Federal Budget proves he’s more interested in the fortunes of his Liberal-National mates in Canberra than securing a fair share of funding for NSW schools and hospitals.
The Federal budget handed down has failed to plug the $25 billion hole in education and health funding for NSW from Tony Abbott’s 2014-15 Federal Budget.
Yet Premier Baird described the budget as a “big win” for the people of NSW.
A mere $1.2 billion was announced nationally for education funding and $2.9 billion nationally for health. The shortfall for NSW schools and hospitals resulting from the disastrous Abbott 2014 budget remains in the billions.
NSW is forecast to experience significant growth in student enrolments that will require $10.8 billion in funding for 7,500 new classrooms and buildings over the next 15 years.
In addition to the demand for new schools across the state, existing public and high schools are crumbling under a maintenance backlog that has reached $732 million.
NSW – particularly Western Sydney – already has the busiest emergency departments in the country and increasing waiting times for elective surgery under a health system that will be further stretched by Canberra’s funding cuts. Currently, more than 73,000 patients are waiting for elective surgery including knee and hip replacement, cataract removal and tonsillectomies.
The focus now must turn to Premier Baird and his Treasurer Gladys Berijiklian and their plans to address the obvious imbalance in the NSW budget.
Basic funding for our growing health and education system is non-negotiable. With a deteriorating revenue base due to the privatisation of profitable assets by the Liberals and a cooling property market, the budget imbalance in NSW is growing.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park
“There is a huge budget imbalance just around the corner for NSW.
“The state’s revenue base has been damaged by the Liberals’ privatisation of profitable assets. The Government’s reliance on stamp duty receipts is a major risk given the cooling property market.
“Why Mike Baird is happy to let Canberra off the hook while there is no plan to fund our schools and hospitals is difficult to comprehend.”