700 jobs cut, GBE returns to be hiked

AT least 700 public sector job losses and a temporary hike in returns from government businesses are key drivers of the Hodgman government's first budget.

The job losses are 200 more than forecast in the election campaign, but Treasurer Peter Gutwein said it could have been worse.

He said last year's Labor budget embedded 100 job losses, but he said this would be avoided if Parliament approved a 12-month public sector pay pause.

The budget will raid $100 million of the Motor Accidents Insurance Board's after-tax profits, but Mr Gutwein said this would not lead to increases in insurance premiums.

He confirmed that the Liberals would spend $400 million over four years to keep their election promises.

"We are delivering on our promises, repairing the mess left by Labor and the Greens and laying the foundations for the future . . . we will spend record amounts on education to give our children the best shot at life," Mr Gutwein said.

"We will not leave our vulnerable Tasmanians behind."

He described the budget as a balanced, sensible document, that would not unduly harm the state's economy.

Other measures include:

  •  $23 million for projects in the North.
  •  $11 million for projects on the East Coast.
  •  $744 million over four years in total agency savings.
  • $110 million in road funding over five years.
  •  108 extra police officers but targeted savings in the department of $44 million.
  •  A $16 million boost to tourism marketing. There was little funding last year.
  •  Revelations that the crippling and uncontrollable state superannuation debt now exceeds $6 billion and will take most of this century to wipe out. The scheme was closed to new entrants in 1999.
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