Strong Surpluses, Investment In Infrastructure And Jobs

Victoria’s economic position remains strong with the 2016-17 Budget Update showing Victoria’s economy growing above trend as the Andrews Labor Government continues to deliver the infrastructure, jobs and services Victorians need.

The Budget Update tabled today by Treasurer Tim Pallas shows that in 2016-17, Victoria will deliver an operating surplus of $1.7 billion, with surpluses across the budget and forward estimates set to exceed $7 billion.

The Labor Government’s sound management is positioning Victoria’s budget as one of the strongest in the nation.

We’re building the infrastructure Victoria needs for a growing, modern economy, with government investment in infrastructure averaging $8.4 billion a year over the budget and forward estimates. This is a boost to Victoria’s amenity and liveability, but also a boost for Victorian jobs.

That’s up by an average of almost $1 billion since the Victorian Budget 2016/17, and compares with just $4.9 billion a year over the past 11 years.

This record level of investment is despite Victoria’s disproportionately low share of infrastructure funding from the Commonwealth and its failure to keep its promise to Victoria under the asset recycling initiative – with $583 million still owed to Victoria from the successful lease of the Port of Melbourne, which was a massive vote of confidence in the Victorian economy.

Key economic indicators show a strong economic outlook, with near-term forecasts for employment and population growth revised upwards, and unemployment and inflationary pressures revised down.

Victoria’s unemployment rate – which was as high as 6.8 per cent in 2014 under the Liberal Government – now sits at 5.7 per cent, with more than 184,000 new jobs created since the Labor Government was elected.

Consistent with the Labor Government’s work to maintain Victoria’s triple-A credit rating, net debt as a percentage of GSP is projected to fall to 4.5 per cent in 2016-17.

Growth in the Victorian economy is expected to remain robust at 3 per cent as forecast in the 2016-17 Budget, above trend and continuing the strong performance of the economy under the Labor Government.

Quotes attributable to Treasurer Tim Pallas

“The Andrews Labor Government’s financial management is delivering the support, services and infrastructure that Victoria needs – while maintaining a very healthy budget surplus.”

“This Budget Update confirms Victoria as an economic powerhouse of the nation, as we create the jobs and infrastructure a modern growing economy needs.”

“We’ll continue to stand up for Victoria, ensuring we receive our fair share of funding from the Commonwealth.”