It seems Katy Gallagher only announces the bad budget new.
The Chiefly Jon Stanhope has announced that the ACT Treasury has found another $60 million under the couch and in 2008-09 the Government was in surplus to the tune of $14.3 million.
A hot real estate market and strong employment appears to have made all the difference.
- “Much of the turnaround relates to higher than expected tax revenue as a result of better than forecast conditions.
“Transactions in the housing market were up 30 per cent in the last three months compared to the rest of the financial year, resulting in an additional $13 million from residential and commercial conveyancing in 2008-09.
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“Activity in the housing market has been significantly buoyed by the First Home Owners Boost and the historically low interest rates.
“We have also recorded some large commercial transactions which suggest that in these uncertain economic times, the Territory remains a very attractive place for investment.”
Mr Stanhope said an unexpected $15 million in payroll tax provided a clear indication that employment conditions for medium to large businesses were better than previously forecast.
He said $7 million could be attributed to general rates, land tax and levies due to higher than forecast growth in new stock, such as an increase in multi-unit developments.
A further $17 million could be attributed to an increase in sales of goods and services, mainly due to higher receipts from increased levels of activity in the areas of health, training and planning, and a higher level of annual rental returns on Territory properties.
A $9 million underspend of the Treasurer’s Advance also reflected good management of unforeseen and unanticipated cost pressures on the part of agencies.