The Victorian Coalition Government has delivered a healthy budget surplus of $316 million for the 2012-13 financial year.
Releasing the 2012-13 Annual Financial Report for the State of Victoria today, Premier Denis Napthine and Treasurer Michael O’Brien said the final outcome demonstrated the Coalition Government’s fiscal strategy to build stronger state finances and a stronger economy was on track.
“The Coalition Government’s strong surplus of $316 million is considerably higher than the $177 million estimate at the time of the 2013-14 budget,” Dr Napthine said.
“Our surplus, combined with substantial investment in infrastructure, confirms the Coalition Government has the right strategies in place to manage the Victorian economy.”
Dr Napthine said constraining expenses growth for 2012-13 to 2.1 per cent was central to delivering a surplus higher than the revised budget estimate.
“Expenditure growth of 2.1 per cent is significantly lower than the average growth rate of 8 per cent over the decade to 2009-10 under the former State Labor Government,” Dr Napthine said.
“The Coalition Government has been able to achieve this responsible economic outcome at the same time as delivering successive record infrastructure programs, a record health budget, increased funding for schools and better services for people with disabilities.”
Mr O’Brien said the result confirmed that only a Coalition Government has the discipline to make the responsible decisions required to manage the Budget and deliver the infrastructure and services all Victorians need.
“This is the lowest expenditure growth since 1998-1999 and underlines the Coalition Government’s commitment to careful financial management while enhancing frontline services and running a record infrastructure program,” Mr O’Brien said.
“A productivity focus and ensuring value for money in enterprise bargaining is critical to ensuring that our state’s finances can withstand continuing revenue pressures from a soft national economy.”
Net debt in the general government sector as a proportion of gross state product was in line with the revised Budget forecast at 5.8 per cent.
The Annual Financial Report confirms that Victoria’s finances are the strongest of any state in Australia and will provide a solid foundation for future investment in critical infrastructure and service delivery.
“Sound financial management has maintained Victoria as the only state in Australia to hold a AAA stable credit rating from both major rating agencies,” Mr O’Brien said.
“Over $5.2 billion was invested in infrastructure over the 2012-13 financial year to support Victorian communities and population growth.”
Major projects that commenced in 2012-13 include the Monash Children's Hospital, the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital upgrade, the Geelong Hospital upgrade, increased prison capacity and removal of level crossings.
“The Coalition Government is continuing to build more capacity in Victoria’s finances to fund future infrastructure and prioritise investment in frontline services to improve safety, health services, education and community services,” Mr O’Brien said.