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Qld government unable to say how concessions will be funded


Amy Remeikis

QUeensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls cannot say how  pensioner concessions will be funded.

QUeensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls cannot say how pensioner concessions will be funded. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

The state government has ridden to the rescue to reinstate the full pensioner and senior concession rate, but it can't say just yet where funding will come from.

And neither can the federal government.

So let the fight begin.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey.

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Premier Campbell Newman took to parliament on Thursday morning, two days after the state's budget was handed down, to announce the state government had reversed its position not to make up the federal government's contribution shortfall.

But continuing the tough talk, Mr Newman said it would be the Commonwealth which would wear the "burden of these cuts, not Queenslanders".

Speaking at a press conference later that day, Mr Nicholls couldn't say where the $54 million in the next financial year would be coming from, or how the Commonwealth would be made to pay.

"We'll be looking at where we can source the funds for that, there are a number of flows between ourselves and the federal government that we will look at," he said.

"As I said in the budget, we wouldn't be introducing these changes until the first of October, so we are going to take some time to look at the opportunities to finding those funds in order to meet that.

"But, I guarantee pensioner and concession card holders here in Queensland that those concessions will be fully funded."

But the federal government has given no indication of backing down.

A spokeswoman for federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said Queensland had received $3.2 billion more over the next four years when compared to the Labor government's last budget.

"This is money Queensland did not expect to receive previously," she said.

"...The Commonwealth contributed around 10 per cent of the goal cost of these concessions nationally."

But one thing both conservative governments can agree on is that repealing the carbon tax would be one way to save money.

Mr Hockey's spokeswoman said Queensland's missing $50 million from the 2014-15 financial year is one-third what the state would save if the carbon tax was abolished.

Mr Newman said he would continue to lobby Canberra to make the changes, but in the mean time, it would be up to Mr Nicholls to find where the money is coming from in a budget he had previously described as having done "as much as we could".

12 comments so far

  • I'm sure they will find a way. After all, they DID give us their word, didn't they?

    Date and time
    June 05, 2014, 7:55PM
    • So they create the crisis, then fix the crisis and the electronic media hails it as a huge win for Pensioners and we see Ladies kissing Nicholls as the lead story on 9? What a joke!

      Date and time
      June 05, 2014, 8:55PM
      • There is a technical name for this type of situation, it is known as "panic". newman and his lackeys thought they could get away with cutting pensioner discounts by blaming Hockey. When they found that did not work they panicked.

        Peter Stanton
        Date and time
        June 05, 2014, 9:04PM
        • I said it in a earlier post , what the LNP will gives back to the Pensioners in one hand , they will take back with the other , so someone here in Qld will pay , so Solar Power Households look out or Public Servants look out , this LNP government is so unscrupulous and so lacking in compassion it will hurt and trample over anyone who gets in the way of their blind right wing ideology, the best thing is to just VOTE THEM OUT

          Date and time
          June 05, 2014, 9:34PM
          • Yes, the ALP are terrible financial managers because they can't instantly come up with policies related to a fictitious debt problem, but the LNP - who are in government - can't figure out how to pay for something instantly. Even though they are their books and their responsibility.

            I guess the ALP have to figure that out for them.

            We are now at what they term the tipping point because curiously enough, now we are close enough to the next election that the LNP are worried about their choices. 3 repeals this week. More to come.

            Date and time
            June 05, 2014, 10:21PM
            • The Lying Nasty Politician Newman was more than happy to do the double-whammy to Queensland pensioners. Our hands are weighted down with crippling debt, Newman and Nicholls cried with fingers and toes crossed in the hope that pensioners would simply shut up and put up. But, they didn't follow the Newman script, and I applaud them for that. I believe he will quickly backflip on this, if re-elected.

              Marion says
              Date and time
              June 05, 2014, 10:27PM
              • This is the measure of these cowards.

                Date and time
                June 05, 2014, 11:16PM
                • It is to be hoped pensioners are not fooled into believing this back down was a result of a compassionate change of heart by Newman and Nicholls. They were forced into the change for purely political reasons -to save their own skins. Surely even those oensioners who voted for this dysfunctional government won't be fooled again? As for where the money will come from $5.2 million straight away by cancelling the propaganda advertising to sell the budget, $45 million to their friends in the liquor industry, the handouts to the mining industry , Newman's Tower of Power-all seemingly more important than the rights of oensioners to a life where they can pay their bills. A matter of choice and priorities-Newman and Nicholls have shown theirs.

                  Date and time
                  June 06, 2014, 6:51AM
                  • Unsurprisingly, it is very difficult for a bunch of Punks-n-Drunks to understand an alleged problem with pensioner concessions when the formers free loading gratuitous pay rise depends upon them not understanding it.

                    Yippee Yi Yo
                    Date and time
                    June 06, 2014, 7:02AM
                    • A credible review of politicians entitlements could be a sound starting point. Is it correct that they can claim $105 a day meal allowance and are the meals in the parliamentary annexe still a ridiculous low price? My employer does not give me a travel entitlement to get to work so there is another pollie entitlement that can be questioned. Spouses get travel why?The whole entitlement structure needs an urgent overall. Start looking inward and there could be some major savings right at home in George Street.

                      Date and time
                      June 06, 2014, 7:44AM

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