Ashley Gardiner Herald Sun
THE Baillieu Government is set to bleed another $22 million a year from Victorians when fees and fines go up.
Despite railing against the yearly grab while in Opposition, Treasurer Kim Wells has quietly signed off on a 2.5 per cent rise ahead of next month's Budget.
Automatic increases were introduced by the Bracks government in 2004.
It means thousands of government fines and charges, including speeding fines, will go up.
The rises are enshrined in law, but the Baillieu Government has made no attempt to abolish it.
In Opposition in 2008, Mr Wells condemned automatic indexation of the fines and fees as a money grab.
He said then: "The unjust burden of automatic tax indexation will hit Victorians. There is no justification for these outrageous increases when Victorian families are battling to make ends meet."
Mr Wells already has indicated taxes will not go up in next month's Budget, but this does not apply to fees and fines.
Shadow treasurer Tim Holding said maintaining automatic indexation contradicted a promise to cut costs to families.
He said a conservative estimate indicated the July 1 increase would pull in an extra $22 million.
Based on the expected fees and fines take for 2011-12, the Government could expect to bring in $908 million in the next financial year.
"This is just another example of the Liberal Party saying one thing in Opposition and doing the exact opposite in government," Mr Holding said.
Stephanie Ryan, spokeswoman for Mr Wells, said the Government was bound by the law.
"The ... Act requires fees and fines to be automatically indexed each year for inflation. The 2.5 per cent increase is significantly less than the current inflation rate of 3.1 per cent," she said.