Treasurer’s fumble a bad look
JACKIE Trad's fumbled answer on the Government's annual debt interest bill was not a good look for the Palaszczuk administration.
Queensland's debt and Labor's plan to address it - or lack of it - was always going to be a central question for the new Treasurer.
Trad is far from the first finance minister to have an important figure elude her at an inopportune time.
However, she'll have plenty of opportunity to commit the interest costs, currently running at $1.7 billion annually, to memory.
Yesterday's Mid-Year Review once again demonstrated Queensland's debt isn't going anywhere.
The review showed the Government continues to spend money just as quick as it makes it.
Average revenue growth bumped up to 3.2 per cent from 3 per cent, mostly on the back of an $806 upward forecast in royalty revenue.
Yet expenses will increase to 3.3 per cent on average, a slight increase that reflects Labor's election commitments.
The non-existent gap between the two means when the Government wants to spend more money it must invent ways to make more, like the $500 million in new taxes.
This approach still leaves nothing for debt.
Given every extra tax dollar to be made over the next four years will be sucked up by additional public service costs, Labor won't reduce debt without cuts.
That's why the debt to revenue ratio - one of the Government's key fiscal principles - is now deteriorating after being reined in through raids.
Whatever the question about debt, the Government just doesn't have the answers.