Just in: Morris Iemma has thrown in the towel. The right-wing heaview Obeid and Tripodi seem to have told him that the numbers just ain’t there any more. Minister for Water, Nathan Rees, is expected to be the new Premier (wonder if he wears cardies?).
This – not entirely unexpected – move happened shortly after Iemma sacked popular NSW Treasurer Michael Costa, who proceeded to voice
...his concerns over the state's ability to retain its Triple A credit rating, saying state revenues are being undermined by the slowing Australian economy.
As well, Railcorp was seeking another $3 billion to spend on new upgrades, Mr Costa said.
"That is clearly not sustainable.''
Mr Costa said the state now had no choice but to delay the proposed North-West Metro project if it was to avoid losing its Triple A credit rating in the coming months.
He said NSW is facing a dramatic drop in revenues from stamp duty approaching $200 million in the first two months of the 2008/09 financial year, as a result of the economic slowdown, while also disclosing that the state is faced with a dramatic blow-out in the health budget running to hundreds of millions of dollars.
"My issue is with the funding of the North-West Metro costing $12 billion which is not sustainable unless we cut spending in other areas - our health and education programs,'' Mr Costa said.
Mr Costa said he had been advised that the health budget hs blown out by $300 million so far this financial year, which is clearly not sustainable, saying that health spending is over-committed by $500 million.
He blamed a lack of reform "at the state and the federal level'' for the blow-outs faced in areas such as health.
Now, who’s been in charge of New South Wales's piggy bank for the last 18 months, Mr Costa?