Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Budget predicament

The large revenue write downs foreshadowed by Treasurer Gutwein ahead of this year’s May State budget pre-empts the question is this just bad luck or a case of those who ignore the lessons of history getting clobbered.

The metaphor ‘black hole’ has once again been summoned to describe estimated reductions in State government revenue of $560 million over the next four years.

It’s familiar territory. We’ve been there before. At the time of the 2009/10 budget in May 2009 the financial world was in turmoil. The revenue write-downs were more than $2 billion over the ensuing four years. GST reductions comprised one-half and State revenue one-quarter. Policy changes were made, which still left an estimated $292 million cash in the tin at the end of the forward estimates.