15 August 2009

Budget in the black after all

| johnboy
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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.

    “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.

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Gungahlin Al2:35 pm 17 Aug 09

Trunking symbols said :

Someone in Treasury should be copping a serve for their inability to make proper budget estimates.

Indeed! It must be getting seriously embarrassing for the various MLAs who have to carry the public can for the lack of reliability the Treasury is delivering.

We’re only in the black short-term due to surprises thanks to the conservative modelling, the forecasts in the budget (and the even worse budget update) really are woeful.
If the modelling Treasury use is accurate, we have threats (but not promises) of furniture-burning budgets and a poison-pill election for whoever wants to play in 2012.

I look forward to the “We are carrying an FY11/12 deficit of $211mil due to Stanhope Labor’s ‘good management and budget discipline’. Here are the services that Party X wants to cut, we will only be cutting these services.” spin from all sides in the buildup to 2012 elections, though…

Good news. The Commonwealth Treasury’s estimates of tax revenue are also normally a bit off off the mark, so it’s hardly suprising that that ACT Treasury also didn’t get things right. As Caf points out, these are estimates.

More a triumph of government propoganda. Some larger schools were closed and smaller ones left open. Go figure.

And sure, re-opening Tharwa would cost oh so much because it saved, well, probably less than the coast of a piece of public art. Now there’s a triumph of reason for you.

Woody Mann-Caruso4:35 pm 16 Aug 09

Yes, let’s reopen the schools that nobody went to and the library nobody visited. It’ll be a triumph of reason.

Schools, plus Griffith Library (properly – not the poor man’s imitation called Kingston shopfront), and perhaps more. And if they did that, perhaps their governance model would improve (becaue they would need to change the way they do things to cope with the shift in thinking), and then we could do even more for the people. Just imagine …

What, because the estimate turned out not to be a flawless prediction of the future? Why not also give the BOM a serve every time the weather today isn’t exactly what they said it would be yesterday?

I mean, get real. I’d much rather they were making conservative assumptions which surprise on the upside than the opposite.

Gee, nearly enough money to re-open some schools!

Trunking symbols12:54 pm 16 Aug 09

Someone in Treasury should be copping a serve for their inability to make proper budget estimates.

Isn’t Katy away at the moment so Big Jon is acting Treasurer which he why he made the announcement

So, we’re out of a hole due to surprise boons and unplanned-for events. Way to manage our budget, guys.

*warms up to commit blasphemy*
Now if only we taxed the pokies appropriately (such as use an effective progressive gaming taxation model, bringing up into line with the other states, instead of the effectively flat rate one we use now), we’d be able to:
a) better predict further steady incomes, and
b) decrease the deficit in the upcoming and future financial years too.

But apparently having a magic pudding of donation cash for the ALP is the first priority, with Tradies Club favouritism a close second, when it comes to the ACT gaming industry.

I think the Government should be prevented from releasing such information until the financial results are audited and confirmed. As there is a strong possiblity that the position may change once the results are audited, providing what might be false positive results is misleading the community.

Does that mean we won’t have to start swapping empty biros to get new ones?

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