Message from the Premier
The 2013-14 State Budget is about supporting jobs, reducing inequality, looking after people and creating opportunities for the next generation of Tasmanians
While seeking to invest in the future, we also continue to face significant financial and economic challenges.
The recent Federal Budget revealed that Tasmania will lose another $100 million in GST revenue, while State tax revenue is forecast to decline by another $200 million.
We’ve also been hit by the $45 million cost of the January bushfires, and a $70 million per annum fall in income from the State’s electricity businesses due to slowing national demand for electricity and a lower carbon price.
Despite these further revenue losses, we are maintaining a path back towards a sustainable Budget position through continuing financial discipline.
Importantly, we are doing so without the need for further belt-tightening or tax rises.
To the contrary, we will make dramatic progress on some of the most important and far-reaching reforms in recent decades.
The Gonski education reforms, the National Disability Insurance Scheme and the Tasmanian forest agreement are historic opportunities to deliver long-term benefits for generations to come.
The Budget also has a strong emphasis on jobs.
It provides funding for a range of initiatives in the Tasmanian Jobs Package, as well as for the first increase in the payroll tax threshold since 2000 and grants for Tasmanian businesses which create jobs through innovation and investment.
We are also investing in major infrastructure in health, education and irrigation, and helping low income Tasmanians to deal with rising living costs.
Our support for programs to ensure Tasmania benefits from the NBN rollout and the Asian Century will lay the foundations for future jobs growth and prosperity.
We need to strike the right balance between addressing the challenges we face today and investing to build a better Tasmania for tomorrow.
I believe we have achieved that balance in the 2013-14 State Budget.