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Government Releases Plan to Fix the Budget

Government Releases Plan to Fix the Budget
16 April 2019

The Territory Labor Government has released its plan to fix the Territory Budget.

The plan consists of two parts:

· The Government’s response to the ‘Plan For Budget Repair: Final Report’ developed by independent former WA under-treasurer John Langoulant

· Immediate savings identified from the Root and Branch review of Government programs

Plan For Budget Repair: Final Report

Of the 76 recommendations contained in the final report:

· Sixty eight have been accepted in full

· Two in part

· Four in principal

· Two were not accepted

Implementation of these measures will reduce Government expenditure by $11.2 billion over 10-years and see the budget return to surplus in 2027/28.

Key recommendations accepted from The Final Report include:

· A pay freeze for politicians and public service executives

· A 10% reduction in executive positions (52 full-time jobs)

· Tough new accountability measures for senior staff and consequences for poor performance

· Cutting red tape to attract private investment and create local jobs

· Selling the Lands Titles Office including the Integrated Land Information System (ILIS)

Root and Branch review

The Root and Branch review of Government programs was designed to ensure expenditure remains focused on the key priorities of:

Creating jobs and attracting investment
Creating generational change which will reduce demand for government services in the medium to long term
Increasing community safety and cohesion
Enhancing transparency and integrity of Government
Savings from this review total $1.4B over 10 years.

The Territory Labor Government is taking action to fix the budget after:

· Inheriting a $876 million deficit from the former CLP Government

· A cut of $500 million annual in GST revenue from the Federal Government (which reduced by a further $88 million in their April budget).

Quotes from Chief Minister Michael Gunner:

"This plan to fix the budget makes the tough decisions needed to ensure we can continue investing in local jobs, generational change and tackling crime.

"The plan protects front line workers like teachers, nurses and police and includes important reforms to maximise the private investment which creates local jobs".

Quotes from Treasurer Nicole Manison:

"Our plan puts Territorians first by making tough decisions in a way that’s fair.

"It makes politicians and senior executives accountable for their financial decisions.

"It ensures much of the heavy lifting is done by cutting the number of executive positions, and freezing politicians and executive pay.

"We’ve made the tough decisions now, so we can continue the investments in education, health and housing that will reduce pressure on the budget in the long term.

"We have not repeated the CLP approach of sacking hundreds of teachers and massive increasing power prices".

For more information on the plan go to https://treasury.nt.gov.au/news/2019/april-2019/budget-repair-update

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