Treasurer media release 5 May 2015.
The Andrews Labor Government’s 2015-16 Victorian Budget is the foundation for a stronger and fairer Victoria. It restores the essential services Victorians need while keeping the state’s finances strong.
The Budget delivers an estimated surplus of $1.2 billion in 2015-16, rising to $1.8 billion by 2018-19.
The Victorian economy is forecast to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2015-16, reflecting strengthening household consumption and higher export growth. Economic growth will rise to 2.75 per cent from 2016-17.
Under the previous Liberal Government, the unemployment rate rose from 4.9 per cent in 2010 to 6.9 per cent in 2014. Our Budget will get Victoria back to work, with the unemployment rate projected to fall to 5.75 per cent in 2018-19.
Driven by record investment in public transport, the Budget includes funding for up to $22 billion in new capital projects expected to create around 16,000 jobs.
The Labor Government will also establish the Premier’s Jobs and Investment Panel, an independent body of business and industry leaders who will provide advice on how best to use the $508 million allocated to create high-skill, high-wage jobs.
The Budget maintains expenditure growth at a modest 3 per cent – comfortably below revenue growth of 3.4 per cent – allowing us to maintain strong surpluses over the budget and forward estimates period.
The Labor Government will maintain Victoria’s triple-A credit rating. Net debt will be reduced from 5.8 per cent of GSP at June 2015 to 4.4 per cent at June 2019, lower than the June 2018 estimate published in the 2014 Pre-Election Budget Update.
Some challenges still exist, notably the Abbott Government’s 2014 decision to cancel existing agreements and cut funds to schools and hospitals. This is expected to result in over $20 billion in funding cuts to core services over the next 10 years.
Quotes attributable to Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas
“The surpluses are strong, net debt is down and the triple-A credit rating is secure.”
“This Budget is about balance. We’re increasing funding for schools, hospitals and transport, but we’re keeping our finances stable. It’s an investment we can afford in the things we can’t afford to lose.”
“The previous Liberal Government left our state in a jobs crisis, but we’re creating 16,000 infrastructure jobs and getting our state back to work.”