In Business

Western Australia Treasurer Ben Wyatt

McGowan Government Delivers Western Australia An Official Budget Surplus

Victor P Taffa

  • Operating surplus of $553 Million in 2018-19, first surplus in 5 years achieved after just 2 years in office
  • $1.5 Billion operating surplus in 2019-20, and continuing surpluses across entire forward estimates period
  • Expense growth limited to just 1.3 % p.a., meaning operating surpluses would be achieved even without GST reform
  • Net debt is $4.1 Billion lower than forecast under the previous Liberal National Government for 2019-20
  • Western Australia the only State in the country with debt decreasing

McGowan Government’s third Budget delivers on its pledge to return the Budget to surplus and fix the financial mess left by the previous Liberal National Government.

“With disciplined management of expenditure, the McGowan Government has delivered on its pledge to return the Budget to surplus after just 2 years in office.” Treasurer Ben Wyatt said.

“Budget vindicates the Government’s approach to expenditure restraint so much so, that even without the GST floor top-up payments, the McGowan Government would still achieve operating surpluses across the entire forward estimates.”

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, the final year of the Liberal National Government.

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. The State’s net debt levels are forecast to peak $4.1 Billion lower than projected under the previous Liberal National Government in 2019-20, and subsequently decline in each year of the forward estimates.

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 %. This is the lowest rise in electricity prices since 2008, when Western Australia Labor was previously in office.

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 2 years ago.

Budget continues to support jobs creation, including investment totalling $4.1 Billion over the next 4 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 4 years to 2022-23 to $4.2 Billion.


GST                 Goods and Services Tax


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