WA still on track for Budget surplus in 2020-21: State Government

Ben Wyatt.
Ben Wyatt.

THE State Government claims it is still on track for a Budget surplus in 2020-21 after the release of mid-year review statement today.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt said the statement reflected the Government’s responsible approach to fiscal management.

Among the key findings of the mid-year financial projections statement were the fact the State’s finances had improved by $568 million over the forward estimates since the Budget was handed down in September.

The general government operating deficit for 2017-18 has been revised to $2.6 billion

The operating outlook is expected to deliver declining deficits in 2018-19 and 2019-20 before a return to an operating surplus of $926 million in 2020-21.

But on the downside, the general government operating deficit for 2017-18 was forecast to be $2.6 billion.

This $265 million increase reflects lower than expected taxation revenue, a delay in Commonwealth grant revenue for road projects, and lower royalty income – including the disallowance of the gold royalty Budget repair measure by the Liberals and Nationals.

“This Mid-year Review highlights the Government’s commitment to responsible financial management,” Mr Wyatt said.

“There is still a lot of hard work to be done, but we are heading in the right direction despite the challenges thrown at us by the Liberals and Nationals in blocking a key budget repair measure and shielding profitable gold miners from paying their fair share.

“I am pleased to confirm that the Government has maintained the low expense growth trajectory laid down in the recent Budget.”

But not everyone was convinced.