The Nationals leader and Member for Murray Plains, Peter Walsh, says Daniel Andrews has sunk to a new low as he prepares to start gambling with people’s lives.
Mr Walsh said plans to add extra numbers to the OzLotto draw each Tuesday are all about filling the black holes in the state budget because of the government’s total inability to manage money.
He said when you are billions and billions of dollars in debt on botched major infrastructure programs – let along being the most indebted state in Australia from botched Covid programs – to be making a direct assault on people’s pockets is about “as low as you can go”.
“This immoral grab for cash by making the lottery game harder to win, but sucking people in with bigger jackpots, really is beyond the pale,” Mr Walsh said.
“To boost the government cut by adding extra numbers to the draw will cut an individual’s chances of winning from one in 47 million to one in 63 million,” he said.
“This is what you get when you have a government that is simply out of cash, clueless about how to manage the state’s debt and is more worried about plugging budget black holes than caring for the wider community.
“It makes a mockery of those ‘gamble responsibly’ taglines used whenever any gambling is advertised.”
Mr Walsh described the government as “swimming in debt” and hoping to con the public with this ambush tax.
He said the maths here was simple – adding numbers means people are less likely to win division one, leading to bigger jackpots. Bigger jackpots mean more ticket sales and in turn more tax”.
“The only winner in this farce is government, and in our case a Labor government addicted to taxing its way out of the generational debt bill its mismanaged major projects and wasteful spending have pushed on Victorians,” Mr Walsh explained.
“Three years ago, the government was collecting $440 million from lotto taxes (2017-18 year). Last year the revenue from public lotteries was $615.4 million (2020-21),” he said.
“That’s a massive increase of $175.4 million – an almost 40 per cent jump in tax revenue, in just one year.
“With gaming venues closed repeatedly during Covid, more Victorians had turned to the lotto, which also meant the government would rake in more in tax revenue.
“Who doesn’t dream of wining the lotto to buy a house or pay off their mortgage, but by putting in these extra numbers, State Labor’s crushed Victorians’ dreams.
“Only a change in government in November will end Labor’s wasteful spending so we can really start to rebuild and recover, by putting money where it belongs, in our local hospitals, schools, roads and emergency services.”