It was a weird thing at the last election. In our candidate questionaire (which many candidates lacked the intestinal fortitude to reply to) we asked this question:
- 1) What will be your number 1 spending priority, and what are you willing to de-fund in order to pay for it?
I was appalled that most candidates didn’t seem able comprehend the basic concept that when the good times end they’ll have to choose which spending items they can continue, rather than the last decade of the only choice being where extra funding goes.
Today the Canberra Times reports that the ACT Government is now looking at a $200 million deficit.
- “Mr Stanhope told a Legislative Assembly committee that the May budget figures would reflect the toll the global financial crisis was having on the territory’s bottom line.
”That reflects reduced GST, reduced stamp duty, reduced conveyancing duty, reduced [Land Development Agency] dividend, reduced returns on superannuation, and combined it represents at this stage an estimate somewhere in the order of $200million,” he said.”
(Note: That number is an extrapolation of current trends not a hard figure.)
At some point, soon, they’re going to have to start cutting instead of racking up debt.