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$362 million in the hole, still hoping for surplus in 2016

By johnboy 14 February 2013 8

Andrew Barr has announcedM/a> the 2012-13 Budget Review for the ACT Government:

Today I presented to the Legislative Assembly the 2012-13 Budget Review, which confirms the Budget is on track to return to surplus on schedule in 2015-16.

The forecast General Government Sector Headline Net Operating Balance for 2012-13 is estimated to be a deficit of $362.9 million. This is expected to improve to a deficit of $138.7 million in 2013-14, a deficit of $103.2 million in 2014-15 and a surplus of $29.3 million in 2015-16.

For the curious here’s the planned path to prosperity:

To ensure the budget returns to surplus, through the development of the 2013-14 Budget the Government will review the Budget, its borrowing strategy, the capital works program, service delivery, and revenue.

This will involve decisions to ensure our budget position is sustainable for the long-term to continue delivering high quality services, notably in disability services through the NDIS and education through the Gonski reforms, and priority infrastructure projects such as light rail and the new northside hospital. In particular, we will ensure that expenditure is restrained, including:
— Driving savings and efficiencies in the use of consultants, advertising, travel and printing;
— Delaying some projects;
— Continuing to review the capital program; and
— Further driving efficiency in the ACT public service.

However, this will be done in keeping with our strong fiscal objectives, which:
— Are a measured response to changing economic and fiscal circumstances;
— Provide flexibility for adjustments should circumstances change;
— Ensure that we do not harm our economy and community by undertaking a knee-jerk response;
— Ensure that we respond to growth in the need for services, particularly in health and education; and
— Allow us to appropriately engage the community about service delivery priorities, and where additional revenue may be raised or savings made.

Bear in mind the next election is in far off 2016


UPDATE 14/02/13 17:16: Brendan Smyth wants to know how the debt pile can get bigger while we at the same time aim for a surplus:

The ACT 2012-13 Budget Review tabled in the Assembly today shows the government borrowing more funds than previously announced and yet they still struggle to return the budget to surplus said ACT Shadow Treasurer, Brendan Smyth.

“The budget outlook is $82 million worse off over the next four years, because the government continues to spend beyond their means. Despite this the government still wants us to believe that they can return the Budget to surplus in 2015-16,” Mr Smyth said.

“The update also reveals that the government will borrow almost $100 million more this year than anticipated.

“What this shows is that the government’s tax and budget policies are not working. Canberrans now live in what is regarded as the highest taxing jurisdiction in the country and yet this financial year we will still see one of the highest deficits ever.

“The government needs to explain what programs and services they will cut or what taxes they will increase to plug this hole,” Mr Smyth concluded.

What’s Your opinion?


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8 Responses to
$362 million in the hole, still hoping for surplus in 2016
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PantsMan 11:12 am 15 Feb 13

The total “Policy Impact”s section has three measures worth $5.8m!

Where are all the costs associated with all the spending the Government and the Greens committed to during the election? Why has Barr not published a Budget Update that actually updates the Budget?

Chop71 10:10 am 15 Feb 13

Triple Rates (scare campaign) or Toot Toot light rail (we will build it) .
Zed runs off for bigger and better pastures while Katy’s mob promise a surplus 3 years away.
As if they will cut spending a year before the next election????
They treat us like crap.

dungfungus 8:52 am 15 Feb 13

c_c™ said :

PantsMan said :

The Commerce and Works Directorate does no “works”; they have nothing in the capital works table? What do they do? Why do they exist?

No mention of light rail; is that a policy decsion taken by the ACT Government, or something else?

I thought the light rail was promised by the election after next, a long way and many budgets off. Though happy to be corrected.

In BRW 14th November 2012 in an article titled “Engineers sharpen pencils over ACT light rail”, an executive from a reputable rail consultancy firm said (among other things) “the funding of the proposed ACT Light Rail by a PPP would be unlikely as revenue streams to fund the financing would not be strong enough”.
He added that “the PPP on the Gold Coast rapid transit was borderline and it’s probably carrying double the patronage a Canberra system could”.
In layman’s terms that means the Canberra proposal, so far, is economically unviable.

rosscoact 8:40 am 15 Feb 13

Lets face it, 1996 Mk2 will put paid to any illusions of surplus for the foreseeable future

HiddenDragon 9:31 pm 14 Feb 13

Sadly, I think this will be fairly quickly overtaken by events, but releasing it on this romantic day was like a great big air kiss to the trembling taxpayers of Canberra.

c_c™ 7:17 pm 14 Feb 13

PantsMan said :

The Commerce and Works Directorate does no “works”; they have nothing in the capital works table? What do they do? Why do they exist?

No mention of light rail; is that a policy decsion taken by the ACT Government, or something else?

I thought the light rail was promised by the election after next, a long way and many budgets off. Though happy to be corrected.

PantsMan 7:11 pm 14 Feb 13

Here it is in all it’s glory: http://apps.treasury.act.gov.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/418827/2012-13_Budget_Review_FINAL.pdf

Why didn’t Andrew Barr include all the spending decisions taken during the election campaign, including the Greens policies Shane extorted from us?

Not publishing announced and costed policy decisions taken by the government since the Pre-Election Update shows this is not worth the paper it’s written on.

PantsMan 5:18 pm 14 Feb 13

The Commerce and Works Directorate does no “works”; they have nothing in the capital works table? What do they do? Why do they exist?

No mention of light rail; is that a policy decsion taken by the ACT Government, or something else?

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