Queensland’s ‘Future State’ budget – Safe with no surprises: analyst

In BICSI Bytesby info@bicsi.com.au

According to Deloitte Access Economics Queensland leader Dr Pradeep Philip, Queensland’s 2018-19 budget was all about spending on front-line services, and clearly aimed at boosting community confidence and injecting much needed funds into creating jobs.

Philip said: “This a ‘no surprises, no shocks’ budget. In its second term, this government is delivering on its election promises. True to form, the Treasurer and Premier outlined their spending on schools, hospitals, communities and infrastructure – a traditional Labor budget.

“With more than five million Queenslanders, and a continued growth trajectory of around 100,000 people a year over the next 20 years, Queensland is a state which needs on-going investments in services and infrastructure.

“With this Government’s focus on infrastructure, it is not surprising that debt has increased to AU$83 billion. The important questions regarding debt are whether it is being used productively and whether it is serviceable.

“These are the same questions we all ask ourselves, whether seeking a home-loan or business borrowing – can we service the debt? And what is the debt for? As long as debt is to either increase productivity, or to improve our liveability, and so generate economic and social returns, the absolute number is less of an issue.”

Mike Kissane, Public Sector Managing Partner Deloitte Queensland added: “It is good to see surpluses over the forward estimates and general government debt as a proportion of the economy (GSP) coming down, with its serviceability (debt as a percentage of revenue) improving.

“A less emphasised area of the budget is the Government’s Advancing Queensland areas of priority including health, jobs and digital. This focus is welcome and we would expect the Government’s attention and focus to be on these areas in the years ahead.”

The Advancing Queensland priorities are to:

1.       Create Jobs in a strong economy – (investment in economy) Create jobs; increase private sector investment; engage more young people in education, training or work;

2.       Give all children a great start – increase number of babies born healthier, increase immunisation rates, increase wellbeing prior to school (early childhood focus);

3.       Keep Queenslanders healthier – Increase number of Queenslanders with healthy body weight and reduce suicide;

4.       Protect the Great Barrier Reef – Reduce Queensland’s contribution to climate change and improve water quality;

5.       Be a Responsive Government – digital play to make using Government services easier; and

6.       Keep communities safe – reduce rates of youth reoffending and reduce rate of crime victims.