Posted on 30. Apr, 2012 in News

Victoria will continue to slide backwards unless the Baillieu Government’s 2012-13 State Budget funds better health and schools and delivers a jobs and investment plan to get the economy back on track, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews said today.

Mr Andrews said Victorians could not afford the same mistakes Mr Baillieu made last year.

“The State Budget is the Baillieu Government’s best chance to make up for the failings of last year’s budget and restart Victoria’s economy,” Mr Andrews said.

“Last year, Mr Baillieu ripped $2.2 billion from services like schools and hospitals, failed to deliver a major projects agenda and stifled investor confidence, driving away existing jobs and failing to create any new jobs.

“Tomorrow’s State Budget presents Mr Baillieu with an opportunity to right past wrongs.

“His choice is clear. He can take a long-term view and fund better education, health and transport services, deliver new jobs and infrastructure plan for the future.

“Or, he can continue to take Victoria backwards.”

Mr Andrews said the State Budget must not only deliver Baillieu Government election promises, but new initiatives to get Victoria’s economy back on track after 18 months of neglect.

“Mr Baillieu may not be able to control a high Australian dollar or the global economy, but he can position Victoria to attract investment and create jobs,” he said.

“He has a responsibility to maintain a strong budget position. If he cares about Victorian families he also has a responsibility to maintain the quality of life Victorians deserve and expect.

“At the moment, Victorians face massive cuts to health and education as well as a deteriorating budget bottom line.

“He says he will deliver a small surplus, but at the expense of everything else.”

Mr Andrews said the Baillieu Government inherited a strong surplus and a AAA credit rating.

“Rather than blaming everyone else Mr Baillieu should wake up and get to work governing for all Victorians,” he said.

“During the Global Financial Crisis, Labor safeguarded Victoria’s AAA credit rating, delivered a Budget surplus each year and still invested in hospitals and schools.”

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