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Treasury and Energy portfolios scrutinised in Budget Estimates today

Today marks the start of Budget Estimates and will see Minister Koutsantonis front up for the Treasury and Energy portfolios.

Privatisation, increased taxes and job creation will be the focus of the Treasury estimates session.

Treasury figures show job growths in SA will be 0.75 per cent in 2016/17, compared to the national average of 1.8 per cent.

That’s less than half of the national average.

“Even Tom Koutsantonis’ own Treasury officers don’t believe that this is a jobs budget,” said State Liberal Leader Steven Marshall.

“Mr Koutsantonis has also claimed his supposed jobs budget last year created 6000 new full-time jobs.

“However, independent ABS data has confirmed that there was a loss of 3,670 full time jobs last year.”

South Australia is facing a growing electricity crisis with households and businesses paying skyrocketing prices for the Weatherill Labor Government’s decision to favour renewable energy.

In the recent State Budget, the Weatherill Labor Government cut the budget for its Energy Policy and Programs.

In 2015-16 the Weatherill Government cut expenditure on the unit by $1.9 million despite the closure of the Port Augusta power stations and a sharp increase in forward contract prices for electricity.

“It takes a special degree of incompetence to cut the unit that is established to ‘provide policy advice and coordination of energy market reforms, including national market reforms’, during the period an electricity crisis is developing,” said Mr Marshall.