The latest Monthly Financial Statement from the government raises some questions regarding their claim/aim to be in surplus and their assertion that they are “paying down Labor’s debt.”
The underlying cash balance for the financial year to 30 September 2019 was a deficit of $13,853 million ie in the first quarter of this financial year, we have spent almost $14 billion more than we have received.
And there are implications for the upcoming MYEFO as budget predictions are falling short.
The net operating balance for the year to 30 September 2019 was a deficit of $15,209 million, which is $2,681 million higher than the 2019-20 Budget profile deficit of $12,528 million. The difference results from lower than expected revenue and higher expenses.
The fiscal balance for the year to 30 September 2019 was a deficit of $14,650 million, which is $928 million higher than the 2019-20 Budget profile deficit of $13,721 million. The difference results from lower than expected revenue, higher expenses and lower net capital investment.
There have also been downgrades for expected wages and GDP growth.
When it comes to debt, as at 30 September 2019, net debt was $401,749 million.
I tried to access historical monthly debt figures to check what the net debt was when the Coalition won office in September 2013, only to find the site has recently been changed and, for some unknown reason, the entire 2013-14 financial year no longer appears.
From memory, net debt was about $161 billion at the end of August 2013, so any suggestion that the Coalition have paid down debt is absolute rubbish. They have increased it by about 250% during a time of global economic recovery.
Whilst the government doggedly stick to their determination to produce a surplus this year, calls for them to increase spending are becoming louder.
We need our own firefighting aircraft. We need to bring forward infrastructure spending. We need to increase Newstart. We need to build affordable public housing, reduce hospital waiting times, and properly resource our public schools. We need to fix the mess the Nationals have made of water management. We need to decarbonise our economy. We need rehab centres and emergency accommodation, particularly in regional areas.
What we don’t need is to waste hundreds of billions on obsolete weapons of mass destruction, billions on consultants and government advertising, and politicians who think attending sporting matches is more important than their day job.
We don’t need a surplus. We need someone who has a clue about how to invest in this country rather than their own political future.
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