Senior concessions cuts, asset sales likely in Qld budget
UPDATE: Seniors are expected to feel some of the pain contained in Tim Nicholls' State Budget today when concessions for household bills such as rates, water and electricity are cut.
The Queensland Treasurer has blamed $50 million in cuts in federal funding for the expected move.
But seniors groups say they only amount to 10% which the Queensland government should be able to absorb.
There is speculation targets could include the $282.54 annual electricity rebate, $200 council rates relief, 50 per cent off public transport fares and up to $120 on water bills.
About $500 million is spent each year by the state reducing household bills for the elderly.
Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says pensioners will see their electricity and transport concessions slashed, drastically increasing their cost of living.
"Pensioners already find it tough making ends meet," he said in a statement ahead of the budget, to be handed down at 2.30pm.
"This is a cruel decision from (Premier) Campbell Newman that will make that job even tougher."
"There's no difference between Tony Abbott and Campbell Newman. They say one thing before an election and they do the complete opposite afterwards," he said.
"This is a government that promised no job cuts, lower electricity prices and no asset sales.
"The next round of Campbell Newman's asset sales will simply be a recipe for more job cuts and even higher electricity prices.''
WE WILL BRING YOU ROLLING COVERAGE OF THE BUDGET FROM 2.30PM TODAY
Nicholls foreshadows asset sales ahead of budget
QUEENSLAND Treasurer Tim Nicholls said there will be no cuts to services or any new taxes, fees or charges in this year's state budget.
According to the government's Strong Choice campaign that leaves only one option.
The controversial option of selling or leasing some of the state's assets.
Mr Nicholls, on the eve of delivering his third budget, refused to dispel speculation that this option was now on the table.
"Cabinet has signed off on the budget strategy that I provided to them and tomorrow will deliver the third LNP government budget," he said.
"It will continue our strong and methodical approach to fixing the state finances.
"It will detail how we can continue to deliver services.
"And of course it will detail how we propose to deal with the $80 billion debt left from Labor."
Mr Nicholls claimed the budget will continue to deliver for Queensland.
"This is a budget that sets out a strong plan for a brighter future," he said.
"It will be a budget that delivers a secure outcome and funding for the infrastructure and services that we know Queenslanders will need over the next 20 years."
Opposition Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the State Government was planning on delivering a "horror budget."
"He (Tim Nicholls) is going to make it more attractive to sell assets to paint a horror story for Queenslanders," he said.
"To suggest there may be the first surplus budget in a decade under the LNP is nonsense.
"Out of the last 11 years of the Labor government there were seven surplus budgets put forward."