Family First promises to legislate a state debt ceiling, as government debt spirals and interest rates are set to rise.
Upper House candidate Tom Kenyon said a legislated debt ceiling would return discipline to the state budget, following years of overspending by both major parties.
“The Liberals and Labor both have terrible records on deficit spending – underlined by this Government’s record since coming to office,” said Mr Kenyon.
“South Australia’s debt is expected to quadruple from 2018 and 2024, reaching an eye-watering $25 billion. With interest rates expected to rise in the near future, South Australia’s debt is clearly running out of control.
“Family First will ensure our children won’t be paying the bills of today’s governments for decades to come.”
Drawing on figures from the 2021/22 state budget papers, Mr Kenyon said that by 2024, state debt will equal state revenue, with interest costs expected at just under $1 billion per year.
“As every family knows, debt must be kept under tight control, otherwise compounding interest quickly becomes a heavy burden and prevents you from meeting your goals.”
SA budget history tells a sobering story.
Debt went from practically zero before the GFC to $6.7 billion in 2013-14, peaking at around $7 billion in 2013-14 before declining to $5.3 billion in 2017-18.
“The major parties have failed to protect the budget and so, if elected, Family First will be putting a legislated limit on state debt.”
Family First proposes:
• The debt ceiling to be 50 per cent of state revenues – which we have already exceeded. • Further borrowing should be prevented until debt is under that limit. • Changing the debt ceiling will require a two-thirds majority of each house of parliament.
“It’s time for a return to some semblance of fiscal responsibility. Neither major party is talking about a return to surplus and both parties seem to think ‘good economic management’ means spending money we don’t have,” said Mr Kenyon.
“Now is the time to get the budget into surplus and start paying back debt – not taking on more.”
Contact: Tom Kenyon 0439 977 221