Queensland will benefit from fiscal surpluses well into the future under the Newman LNP Government’s careful financial management.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said today’s 2014-15 Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review showed the Government had kept its promise to get the state’s finances back on track and back in the black.
“In 2015-16 we will deliver the first fiscal surplus for Queensland in a decade,” Mr Nicholls said.
“This sets the foundation for restoring confidence, building a stronger economy and creating jobs.
“As a result, we will no longer need to borrow money to pay teachers or put fuel in ambulances.
“The strong decisions we made at the start of our term mean we’ve avoided worse financial shocks in the future.
“The Newman LNP Government’s hard work in cutting waste and reining in expenses means that next year we expect to post a surplus of $331 million – and we will continue to remain in surplus in the following years.”
Mr Nicholls said despite challenging economic conditions, including low world coal prices, there were now an extra 800 police protecting Queensland families, more than 760 extra teachers and teacher aides in classrooms and not one person left on the long wait dental list.
“Our commitment to and delivery of frontline services is unmatched,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We do have to contend with some challenges and that means in 2014-15 the deficit of $2.84 billion will be higher than forecast at Budget time.
“This is due to a write-down in revenues and also the timing of some disaster relief payments from the Commonwealth.
“We are also seeing economic growth at a slightly lower rate than forecast in the Budget with growth this year now expected to be around 2.5 per cent, rising to 5.75 per cent in 2015-16.
“As Treasury’s report shows, Queensland is not immune from global conditions and that’s why we need to work hard to build our four pillar economy and improve our financial resilience.”
Mr Nicholls said debt remained a critical issue for Queensland’s future.
“Our careful management of the state’s finances means we’ve been able to reduce debt slightly – but we are still headed towards $80 billion,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We have ended Labor’s reckless spending, but its legacy of debt is still constraining Queensland.
“Our Strong Choices plan to lease some assets, reduce debt, invest in job-creating infrastructure and help Queenslanders with cost of living pressures will secure our financial future.
“Labor has no plan to tackle the massive debt they foisted on Queenslanders.
“Only the Newman LNP Government has a strong team with a strong plan to build a stronger Queensland.”