STRONG BUDGET SHOWS RESULTS OF STRONG LEADERSHIP

STRONG BUDGET SHOWS RESULTS OF STRONG LEADERSHIP

Posted on 15. Sep, 2010 in Victoria

Victoria’s finances are the strongest in the country with a AAA credit rating, a $644 million surplus and surpluses now and into the future as reported in the Victoria’s financial report card released today.

Releasing the Annual Financial Report, Treasurer John Lenders said the strong budget was a result of taking the tough decisions to fight the Global Financial Crisis head-on and help the Victorian economy rebound after the downturn.

“The Brumby Labor Government’s strong leadership is keeping our economy heading in the right direction and Victoria is generating more jobs than any other state,” Mr Lenders said.

“During the height of the Global Financial Crisis we invested strongly to save Victorian jobs and we are now helping Victorian businesses to capitalise on the world-wide recovery.”

Over the course of the 2009-10 financial year Victoria had demonstrated it was the economic engine room of the nation with:

  • 103,700 jobs created – more than any Australian state and three times as many as promised in the 2009 Budget;
  • State Final Demand growing by a very healthy 6 per cent – the best of Australia’s non-resource states;
  • The lowest debt ratio of any Australian state in the non-financial public sector;
  • Victorian retail sales growing by 3.7 per cent – the highest growth of all states; and
  • 45,476 first home owner grants – the highest on record for any financial year in Victoria.

 

Mr Lenders said the strong surpluses delivered under the Brumby Labor Government had prevented the State going into deficit during the Global Financial Crisis like many governments around the world, and this buffer had now been restored to help fight any future uncertainty in the foreseeable future.

“We will continue to deliver strong budgets with strong surpluses to provide a shield against any future downturns, otherwise Victorian jobs will be at risk,” Mr Lenders said.

Mr Lenders said that as in previous years this year’s surplus had been allocated to build the schools, hospitals and other infrastructure Victoria’s growing population needs into the future.

“Today’s surpluses have been allocated to build tomorrow’s infrastructure to make Victoria an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” Mr Lenders said.

Mr Lenders said the strong financial results were especially pleasing given the State was dealing with the ongoing economic aftershocks from the Global Financial Crisis, the challenge of the worst drought on record and the financial impact of responding to the February 2009 bushfires.

He said revenue from traffic camera operations and on the spot fines had fallen by $5.9 million to $431.3 million from an expected $437.2 million due to safer driver behaviour after the roll-out of the Brumby Labor Government’s Arrive Alive 2 package.

Mr Lenders said the report was yet another embarrassment to the missing-in-action shadow treasurer, Kim Wells, who said the 2009 budget was a ‘house of cards’ and predicted that Victoria would suffer through a recession during the financial year:

“To make matters worse we find in the budget papers that the Premier and Treasurer remain silent on the r-word. Everyone else is in recession but apparently not Victoria. The economic indicators contained in the budget are optimistic in the extreme and are predicated on Victoria not entering recession and benefiting from a fast recovery. The figures just do not stack up. This is a house-of-cards budget.” – Kim Wells Budget reply speech 7 May 2009

“Ted Baillieu and Kim Wells are lazy and ran around like Henny Penny falsely predicting a recession – but then offered no solutions to create any Victorian jobs anywhere in the state,” Mr Lenders said.

“Victoria’s economic successes didn’t happen by chance – it happened through hard work.  Now is not the time to risk Mr Baillieu who is too weak to take the tough decisions needed to keep our economy strong.”

State 2009-10 surplus
Victoria $644 million
NSW $101 million
Queensland – $287 million
South Australia – $174 million
Western Australia $290 million
Tasmania $24 million

Based on the latest available information from each state

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