Libs' budget delay condemned

LABOR and the Greens have seized on the new government's decision to delay handing down its first budget until August as the first symptom of its reckless spending promises.

The Liberals will spend the next five months preparing the 2014-15 budget, which will provide more details about its plans to cut more than $500 million in spending and deliver $400 million worth of promises.

Labor leader Lara Giddings said the Liberals were buying time. 

``They've spent months crowing about fixing the budget, and their first action is to deliberately delay it,'' Ms Giddings said.

``What are the Liberals waiting for? The mid-year financial report in February provided all the   information they would need to prepare the budget.''

The budget is usually released in May.  

Ms Giddings said a one-month delay would have been acceptable, but August left the public service in limbo for too long. 

Premier-elect Will Hodgman will meet  the Police Commissioner today about plans to recruit an extra 108 police officers, and  yesterday incoming treasurer Peter Gutwein said the timing of hiring extra frontline staff would be made clear in August. 

The new government also hopes to merge two departments by mid-year. 

Community and Public Sector Union secretary Tom Lynch criticised the new government for briefing business leaders about the plans before workers affected by the major restructure. 

``I have got a lot of members that are extremely stressed,'' Mr Lynch said. 

Mr Lynch said the timing was unrealistic.

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