Trad’s State Budget surplus revealed
JACKIE Trad will deliver an operating surplus more than five times higher than initially forecast when she hands down her second Budget today with the resources sector once bolstering the bottom line.
The Courier-Mail can reveal the operating surplus for 2018/19 will come in at $841 million, almost $700 million more than the $148 million originally forecast in last year's Budget and $250 million more than the revised figure in December's Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review.
The Treasurer put the better than expected result down to record exports including increased demand for resources and "prudent fiscal management".
The Queensland Resources Council estimates thermal and metallurgical coal royalties will raise a record $4.46 billion for the Government in 2018/19, $940 million more than initially forecast in last year's Budget and $200 million more than Treasury's revised figures in the MYFER.
"We promised Queenslanders we would keep the Budget in surplus and this year we continue to deliver on that promise," Ms Trad told The Courier-Mail yesterday.
"This is the fifth consecutive surplus delivered under the Palaszczuk Labor Government."
It comes as the Treasurer is expected to today hand down a borrow-to-build budget after setting the scene for higher borrowings throughout her pre-budget sell.
"In this Budget we make the choice to back Queensland jobs and invest in our regions," she said.
"In the face of slowing national economic conditions, we are continuing to back Queensland jobs."
Ms Trad so far has refused to be drawn on whether any new taxes and charges will be introduced today nor whether any existing ones will be expanded.
But she last month announced a freeze on royalty increases for miners for at least one year.
The freeze will be extended a further two years should they contribute cash towards a $100 million infrastructure fund but negotiations are on hold after the fund was referred the state's corruption watchdog by the LNP.
Changes are also expected to the way public servants will be counted in the Budget following the release of the Coaldrake review.
The Courier-Mail revealed last week that Former QUT vice-chancellor Peter Coaldrake's review of the bureaucracy had identified a hidden workforce of labour hire, contractors and consultants were costing taxpayers about $1.5 billion on top of the public service wages bill.
Employee expenses were forecast in the MYFER to reach $25.7 billion for 2018/19 and before growing each year after that.
Ms Trad has pledged to reduce that figure and to overhaul the contentious fiscal principle requiring the Government to keep public service growth in line with population growth.
Labor has struggled to meet that principle since introducing it last term.
Professor Coaldrake recommended changing it to show growth separately for health and education given hiring in those sectors is tied to funding agreements with the Commonwealth and often outstrip population growth.