The McGowan Government should be congratulated for its sound financial management, as figures released today shows combined government sector net debt across Australian states and territories will more than double from $81bn in 2019-20 to more than $184bn by 2023-24.
The analysis of this year's budget papers by The Australian newspaper shows Western Australia is the only state managing to reduce its debt over the forward estimates.
CME Chief Executive Paul Everingham said the WA Government should also be applauded for its responsible budgetary measures, in contrast to Queensland, South Australia, and to a lesser extent, Victoria.
“CME has consistently called for Government to rein in expenditure growth in order to manage the State’s finances and reduce debt and we were pleased to see expense growth limited to just 1.3 per cent per year to 2022-23 in this year’s budget,” Mr Everingham said.
““While other governments are hiring more public servants at a time of slow economic growth, WA has bucked the trend and has cut spending in the public sector, a move which has contributed to decision to upgrade WA's credit rating from AA2 to AA1 earlier this month.
“The Government’s strong fiscal resolve, combined with strong growth in exports for LNG, lithium and gold and increasing business investment on a wave of new resource sector projects in iron ore and lithium, paints a very positive picture for the economic future of WA.”
The analysis highlighted that surging iron ore and oil and gas prices had significantly assisted the WA Government in achieving its first return to budgetary surplus in five years.