Queensland’s finances are getting back on track thanks to the Newman Government’s fiscal repair strategies.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Report on State Finances released today showed the Government had brought expenses under control and set a path to reducing Labor’s debt.
“The Government promised Queenslanders we would restore accountability and that’s what we’re doing,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Actual government expenses for 2012-13 came in just 0.2 per cent higher than the previous year, even lower than the 1.1 per cent estimated in this year’s Budget.
“That’s the lowest level of expenses growth since accrual accounting began in the Queensland Government in 1998-99.
“It’s in stark contrast to Labor’s record with average expenses growth of 8.9 per cent over the decade to 2011-12.”
Mr Nicholls said these savings had flowed through to the Budget bottom line.
“The net operating balance for 2012-13 is $359 million better than had been estimated.
“That is enough to fund another 350 hospital beds or construction of seven top class primary schools,” he said
Mr Nicholls said the fiscal balance outcome is $945 million better than estimated.
“We’ve achieved this even though revenue was $39 million lower than estimated.”
Mr Nicholls said while the Newman Government had curbed spending, Labor’s legacy of debt meant the 2012-13 Budget ended the year $7.74 billion in the red.
“The deficit is almost a billion dollars less than the $8.69 billion forecast at Budget time and means state debt stands around $69 billion,” he said.
“In other words every man, woman and child in Queensland is carrying a State Government debt of around $14,500 and they have to pay the interest bill.
“While it is an improvement on our forecast debt, paying the interest bill means money is being diverted from frontline services.
“The Newman Government is determined to get the state’s finances back in the black so we can deliver more and better services for Queenslanders.
“The strategies we have implemented are repairing the State’s finances and at the same time instilling confidence in both business and consumers.
“It’s that confidence that is essential for the continued growth that will ensure Queensland remains a great State full of great opportunity.”
The full report can be found at http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/tableOffice/TabledPapers/2013/5413T3989.pdf