The Napthine Government has hit Victorian families with a record tax grab in the last six months while families faced increased living costs, Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas said today.

Mr Pallas said the Napthine Government’s 2012–13 Mid Year Financial Report was a slap in the face to Victorians and showed the government was more interested in tax grabs than boosting Victoria’s economy.

“Now in Government Treasurer Michael O’Brien has opened the treasury coffers and filled them up with gambling taxes and hit families in the hip pocket with registration and vehicle taxes,” Mr Pallas. “The record tax take demonstrates Mr O’Brien’s hypocrisy as he was previously very critical about gambling taxes yet he has increased gambling taxes by 9.22 per cent to $941.6 million, an increase of $79.5 million.

“Mr O’Brien will need all the help he can get as Victoria will not get back the two-and-a-half years wasted by sacked Treasurer Kim Wells and dumped Premier Ted Baillieu.
“Despite slashing one in ten public service positions, employee expenses were up half a billion dollars compared to the year before. But it is motorists who will bear the brunt of Mr Napthine’s efforts to turn a $1.9 billion half-yearly deficit into the smallest surplus ($100 million) in over a decade.” Mr Pallas said fines have increased by $89.8 million from $266.7 million to $356.5 million – a whopping 33.67 per cent increase. “Mr Napthine has ramped up motor vehicle taxes by 14.77 per cent ($135.2 million), vehicle registration is up to $591.2 million from $488.9 million or up 20.9 per cent. “Despite the Government’s audacious effort to plunder motorists’ and gamblers’ pockets to prop up their bottom line, Victorians will see state debt rise to $17.914 billion, or 5.2 per cent of GSP.”

Mr Pallas said the Napthine Government had propped up its struggling budget position by increasing the State taxation slug by $270 million or 3.9%, on the last comparable period over the 6-months to the year ending December 2012.

“For all this pain, the Victorian public will see little gain, with net infrastructure investment set to remain below 2010 levels out to 2013,” he said. “Mr Napthine expects the Victorian economy to continue to limp along, with poor employment growth, low household spending and a flat-lining housing market.

“To use Denis Napthine’s own words from 18 May 2005, he now leads ‘a greedy government ripping off the people of Victoria’.”

“This Mid-Year Financial Report shows a Government devoid of any vision other than to balance their precarious budget position at the expense of hard working Victorian families.”

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