The WA Government’s third Budget delivers on its pledge to return the Budget to surplus.
The 2019-20 Budget delivers a return to surplus (of $553 million) in 2018-19, in just the second year of this Government, and the first operating surplus since 2013-14. This represents a $3 billion turnaround from the $2.5 billion deficit in 2016-17.
Operating surpluses are also forecast across the entire forward estimates period, including a $1.5 billion surplus in 2019-20 and over $2 billion out to 2022-23. These surpluses are underpinned by the Government’s disciplined management of expenditure, combined with an expected pick-up in economic activity from 2019-20.
A return to an operating surplus position is a key requirement of the Government’s debt reduction strategy.
Compared to the pre-election estimates under the previous government, the reduction in projected net debt will save Western Australians some $508 million in wasted interest payments by 2019-20.
Strong financial management means that debt can start to be paid down from 2020-21, while still continuously improving the quality of health care, education and community services.
Households will be the beneficiaries of the Government’s strong financial management, with the lowest increases to fees and charges in 13 years. This Budget commits $284 million to limit household electricity price increases, with the 2019-20 increase limited to the projected inflation rate of just 1.75 per cent.
Investments are targeted at job creation, supporting diversification of the economy and encouraging investment and growth in key sectors. The Government is on track to meet our 150,000 jobs target, with 37,000 jobs created since coming to office just over two years ago. The Budget continues to support jobs creation, including investment totalling $4.1 billion over the next four years for METRONET, with construction on key projects set to commence from 2019-20. An additional $1.3 billion has been allocated to 25 priority road projects, which are expected to create some 28,000 new jobs for Western Australians, and lifts total investment in roads over the four years to 2022-23 to $4.2 billion.
Global and national factors have created a challenging economic environment but despite this the WA economy continues to grow, proving the WA economy has become more resilient and diverse.
Source: WA Government