Marshall Liberal Government’s first Budget back in black – posting $289m surplus, after years of Labor deficits

South Australia’s State Budget is firmly back in the black, with the Marshall Liberal Government recording a $289 million surplus in its first State Budget in 2018-19 – turning around a massive $313 million deficit left by the former Labor government.

In fact, Labor’s gross financial mismanagement and incompetence has been highlighted by the fact the former government recorded deficits in 6 out of their last 8 budgets.

The Final Budget Outcome for 2018-19 – released today – shows the Marshall Government’s $289m surplus is larger than the $101m surplus originally predicted in the recent State Budget. It is also an improvement on the $48m surplus forecast in the 2018-19 Budget.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said the bigger surplus was largely due to a number of ‘one-off’ factors which cannot be assumed to continue over the forward estimates.

These ‘one-off’ windfalls include bequests to the Art Gallery of South Australia ($36.9m), settlement proceeds arising from arbitration processes in relation to the nRAH, and the timing of grants to SAHMRI for the proton therapy unit.

The 2018-19 surplus was also assisted by higher than expected revenue from the sale of goods and services, dividends and income tax equivalents as well as higher royalties due to better than forecast petroleum production volumes.

“The Government was elected to get the State’s finances back under control and back into the black after years of gross financial mismanagement under the former Labor government which recorded deficits in 6 out of 8 of their last state budgets,” said Mr Lucas.

“We welcome the fact that, in the Marshall Government’s first State Budget, we have turned Labor’s massive deficit around and recorded a healthy surplus, underpinned by strong labour market performance which saw an employment increase of 1.4 per cent, and growth in SA’s population of 0.9 per cent.

“This Government is committed to a strong economic reform agenda which delivers massive tax cuts (ESL, payroll tax and land tax) as well as a significant infrastructure program to drive positive economic and jobs growth for the benefit of all South Australians.”

Public sector debt of $13.084b at June, 2019, is up marginally on the $12.950b at June, 2018 but below the $13.547b level estimated for June, 2019 in the 2019-20 budget.

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