Don't be fooled - Labor and Liberals WILL increase taxes after election to fund promises: SA-BEST

14 March 2022

South Australian taxpayers will be hit hard by a raft of taxes after next weekend’s state election to fund the fiscally reckless and unnecessary election promises both major parties are making, SA-BEST warned today. 

SA-BEST MLC and Budget and Treasury spokesperson, Frank Pangallo, said both major parties are “abusing” the increasing trend of voters casting their vote prior to polling day by deliberately not revealing how they plan to fund their election promises until the last week of the election. 

“It’s just another example of the major parties totally disrespecting voters and the practice needs to be stopped,” Frank said. 

“In the likelihood of there being a major blunder in their costings, there is absolutely no way the tens of thousands of people who have already cast their vote can voice their anger at such a bungle,” he said. 

“Make no mistake – taxes will rise regardless of which party forms government. Taxpayers’ hip pockets will be hit hard to finance the excessive promises made by both the Liberals and Labor  – at a time when petrol prices and house prices are at record levels. 

“Car registrations will increase, bus and train tickets will rise, hundreds of government fees and charges will spike and don’t rule out stamp duty and payroll tax being looked at to help them balance their books. 

“Both major parties must think we taxpayers are gullible fools. The state’s debt is already at record levels – they need to explain how they are going to fund their commitments and do it now.”

Frank said an immediate priority – as a bare minimum - for SA-BEST in the new Parliament will be to demand a freeze on the rate of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL) and other property charges. 

He warned the ESL was set to rise between 150% and 200% as a result of huge increases in the capital values of homes in the wake of the record-breaking property market boom that has seen median house prices soar, making home ownership out of reach to even more South Australians. 

SA-BEST Upper House lead candidate and Master Builders Association former CEO, Ian Markos, said the state needed to wipe the slate clean and start again with a wide-ranging reform of state taxes – beginning with the ESL, payroll and land tax, stamp duty and slashing the outrageous cost of registering land titles – the highest in the nation. 

“It’s astonishing during an election campaign neither the Liberal or Labor have even mentioned tax cuts – the topic has been avoided completely by both major parties,” Ian said. 

“We all know why and that should concern every voter as we all know what’s going to happen as soon as the election is over and one of the major parties forms some sort of government,” he said. 

“South Australians should not be fooled into thinking everything is okay, because once the election has been decided it’s too late. 

“Both Labor and the Liberals have shown historically they can’t be trusted with your hard earnt money - they WILL increase your taxes. 

“Talk is cheap during an election campaign and both major parties are making promises that can only be delivered by taxing south Australians more – as opposed to SA-BEST who will ensure government waste is cut and productivity efficiencies are introduced to ensure the government looks inwards before it sticks its hands in the pockets of hard-working taxpayers. 

“SA-BEST will not tolerate tax increases that leave South Australians with less of their own money. 

“On the contrary, if we win the balance of power, we will cut state taxes to ensure taxpayers keep more of their own money. 

“We will introduce a number of initiatives to save families and small businesses money - including reductions in motor registrations fees, slashing payroll tax for small and medium businesses, and abolishing stamp duty for first home-owners.” 

Frank said Labor and the Liberals have both been fiscally irresponsible making ludicrous election promises the state either can’t afford, doesn’t need or haven’t been funded for yet. 

“Voters see through these election ‘promises’ – in fact, they should be called election ‘lies’ because very few of the big-ticket commitments see the light of day. Remember the right-hand turning tram for the CBD?,” Frank said. 

“It’s rather bemusing neither the Liberals or Labor want to talk about the elephant in the room – which is the need to raise taxes to pay for their election promises - yet continue to make all sort of commitments,” he said. 

“Peter Malinauskas is recklessly spending money the government doesn’t have and the taxpayers of SA can’t afford - already committing about $3 billion in election promises without giving any indication how Labor plans to fund them. 

“The answer is obvious – the same way the major parties always do – by increasing taxes. 

“Mr Malinauskas told a recent industry lunch Labor wasn’t going to touch the sensitive subject of tax if it won office. That flies in the face of his opposition to the government’s controversial land tax reforms. 

“Labor hasn’t addressed  whether it plans to roll back the contentious tax. 

“They need to make a commitment about both land tax and the ESL now – as well as SA-BEST’s proposal to exempt first home buyers from paying stamp duty and overhauling the payroll tax rate for regional SA businesses.”

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