THE Liberals swept to power in March 2014 with a proposal to solve Tasmania’s problems.
Someone in the party had discovered the wizardry of an Excel spreadsheet and had shuffled a few numbers in the then government’s four-year budget and pronounced the result a Plan for a Brighter Future.
The cornerstone savings were from a more efficient public service, which meant downsizing by 500 saving $155m over four years.
The Brighter Future was heralded by the proposal to spend $76m in elective surgery to “ensure that Tasmanians stuck on waiting lists for years can get their operations sooner, with up to 15,000 extra procedures”.
As Martyn Goddard observed in these pages on April 2, “When the present government came to power in 2014, there were 7610 people on the statewide elective surgery waiting list. The most recent figure was 12,086, an increase of 59 per cent.”
No doubt hoping that most people might have forgotten previous failed promises, Premier Gutwein has now pledged to spend another $154m over four years to deliver an additional 22,300 elective surgeries and endoscopies.
The more things change, the more they stay the same.