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Australian Federal and State Budgets - An Overview

the privatisation of public infrastructure to enable it to meet the objectives of its debt elimination legislation.”45 In 2002, for example, the Carr government sold its s h a r e i n t h e N a t i o n a l R a i l C o r p o r a t i o n , a s w e l l a s i t s w h o l l y o w n e d F r e i g h t C o r p , t a joint venture formed by Toll Holdings and Lang Corporation.46 Responsibility Act 2005 is discussed in a later section of this paper o The Fiscal .

Until 2005-06 the Carr government was able both to maintain budget surpluses and reduce the government sector net debt. In financial year 2005-06 the surplus was just over $1 billion and government sector net debt was $1.3 billion (0.4% of Gross State Product). After 2005-06 the government’s financial position began to change and, by 2008-09, the budget delivered by Morris Iemma (who succeeded Carr in 2005) produced a deficit of $879 million and general government sector net debt of $6.4 billion (1.6% of GSP). These developments can be seen in the graphs and table below:

NSW Government Budget Surpluses/Deficits: 2000-01 – 2009-1047

2,500 2,000 1,500 1,000

millions

500 0

  • -

    500

  • -

    1,000

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    1,500

  • -

    2,000

2000- 2001- 2002- 2003- 2004- 2005- 2006- 2007- 2008- 2009-

01

02

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04

05

06

07

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10

45

Marc Robinson, “Can Fiscal Responsibility Legislation be Made To Work?” in Agenda, vol.3, no.4, 1996, p.426.

46

NSW Treasury, Treasury Focus (NSW Treasury, Sydney, 2002), p.1.

47

NSW Treasury, Budget Statement: 2008-09, Budget Paper No.2, p.10-11; NSW Treasury, Budget Statement: 2009-10, Budget Paper No.2, p.9-10

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