Despite the compounding effects of the Commonwealth Government’s policy to reduce spending and significantly contract the size of the Australian Public Service, Standard & Poor’s has acknowledged the ACT Government’s continued commitment in its 2014-15 Budget to build and transform the ACT economy and provide stability in an uncertain economic environment through affirming the ACT’s AAA credit rating.
International ratings agency Standard & Poor’s has today announced that the ACT Government has retained its AAA credit rating and assessed the outlook for the ACT’s finances as continuing to be ‘Stable’.
The AAA and A?1+ ratings are the highest ratings assigned by Standard & Poor’s.
The ACT is one of a small number of governments in the world to hold this rating. Victoria is the only other state or territory in Australia to hold a AAA Stable credit rating.
Treasurer Andrew Barr says “the AAA rating is an endorsement of Labor’s plan to support our economy and our people at a time when the Commonwealth Government’s policy of fiscal restraint and public sector staffing cuts and reduction in grants and payments to the ACT will have a significant negative impact on the ACT”.
“The record investments in the vital areas of health, education, community services and transformative infrastructure to create jobs and economic activity are the actions required now to protect the long-term growth and the health of our community and this has been recognised in the retention of the AAA credit rating”, Mr Barr said.
Standard & Poor’s said “the stable outlook reflects S&P’s view that the government will manage its financial position and successfully execute its financial strategy. Successful delivery will further support the ACT’s very strong financial management”.
“The ratings on the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) reflect our view of the ACT’s very strong economy and financial management, and its strong budgetary flexibility. We consider the ACT’s financial management to be very strong. The ACT’s political and managerial strengths, debt and liquidity management, and its management of government-related entities support our very strong view of its financial management. We expect the ACT’s tax reforms to be successfully implemented. Further, the ACT has demonstrated its willingness to release land as part of its growth strategy to offset weakening revenue streams”, Standard & Poor’s said.
(Andrew Barr Media Release)