Coalition Government delivers $2 billion surplus for 2013-14 (15.10.2014)

Written on the 6 November 2014


The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered an operating surplus of $2 billion for the 2013-14 financial year – the strongest budget result since 1998-99.

Releasing the 2013-14 Annual Financial Report for the State of Victoria today, Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the result reflected the Coalition Government's strategy to build stronger state finances that support policies to grow the economy and create jobs.

"The Coalition Government has delivered a strong $2 billion surplus in 2013-14, supporting record infrastructure investment in transport, health and education," Mr O'Brien said.

"Under the Coalition Government's economic management, large surpluses support new infrastructure, cuts to business taxes and better frontline services to benefit Victorians," Mr O'Brien said.

In addition to forecasting strong budget surpluses each year across the forward estimates, Victoria is the only state with a AAA stable credit rating from both major rating agencies.

"Only the Coalition Government has the experience to deliver such strong financial outcomes," Mr O'Brien said.

"Despite significant economic challenges over the last four years, we have delivered a stronger financial result than Labor ever managed during 11 years in office.

"This budget surplus helps to fund our record $27 billion infrastructure program without relying on unsustainable debt. Labor's reckless approach would put all of this at risk," Mr O'Brien said.

The surplus of $2 billion is higher than the $935 million revised estimate in the 2014-15 State Budget largely due to the early receipt of Commonwealth grant payments for East West Link. This was offset in part by the $540 million payment to Tatts Group arising from litigation concerning the former Labor government's decisions around gaming licences.

"The biggest threat to Victoria's economy and job creation is Labor's reckless approach to economic management and cost blow-outs on major projects such as myki and desal," Mr O'Brien said.

"This budget result also sounds the death knell for Shadow Treasurer Tim Pallas' credibility."

In May this year Mr Pallas claimed that Victoria's budget would be in deficit in 2013-14 if not for a $1 billion payment by the Commonwealth towards the East West Link project.

 

On 26 May Mr Pallas said:

The Abbott Government is planning to hand over $1 billion of the $3 billion contribution to the East West Tunnel before 30 June, allowing Denis Napthine to turn a $65 million deficit into a $935 million surplus for 2013-14.

"This $2 billion budget surplus blows Tim Pallas' claims out of the water. Even without the Commonwealth's East West Link funding, Victoria's budget is strongly in surplus.

"Labor proposes an alternate Premier who rips up contracts, and a Shadow Treasurer who can't add up," Mr O'Brien said.

Mr O'Brien said that since the Coalition Government came to office steps had been taken to repair the state's finances from the structural deficit left by the former Labor Government.

"While Labor allowed expenses to blow out by 30.9 per cent in its last four years, the Coalition Government has managed to restrain expenditure growth to 10.7 per cent in total over the four years to 2013-14," Mr O'Brien said.

Net debt in the general government sector of $21.2 billion (6.0 per cent of Gross State Product) at 30 June is slightly lower than the estimate published in the 2014-15 Budget.

"Over $22.3 billion was invested in infrastructure over the four years to 2013-14 to support Victorian communities and population growth. This is 33 per cent more than the $16.8 billion Labor invested in the previous four years," Mr O'Brien said.

 

Major projects that commenced in 2013-14 include the Monash Children's Hospital and the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.


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