Bite in SA budget


Bite in SA budget

By Anne Pavy

ADELAIDE — Despite being described as "almost mild" by current Australian standards, the SA budget delivered by Premier-Treasurer John Bannon on August 29 will have a nasty bite for many people.

Government spending will be cut by $195 million in real terms. Part of this will be achieved by eliminating concession fares on public transport for students not receiving Austudy allowances.

Up to 3300 public servants will lose their jobs, cutting services and adding to already serious unemployment. In the past year, unemployment has risen from 6.5% to 9.2% in SA.

A major reason for the cuts is the State Bank's disastrous situation following losses in the region of $4.2 billion. This has saddled the state government with annual interest payments of $220 million for the indefinite future.

Another item in the budget was the allocation of $4.3 million for the proposed Multi Function Polis, a project that seems increasingly dubious on environmental, economic and other grounds.