NSW mid-year economic update: Treasurer the Hon. Dominic Perrottet

The NSW budget position is even stronger than the forecast surplus, NSW Treasurer, the Hon. Dominic Perrottet has told a CEDA audience.

Speaking in Sydney, Mr Perrottet provided an update on the NSW 2017-18 budget which he said was one of the “strongest ever”.

“In my view, it was a budget that did everything; fiscally responsible, record infrastructure spent, easing the cost of living and in true good liberal style, cutting taxes,” he said.

“We projected a budget surplus of $2.7 billion, a record negative net debt position, our net worth approaching a quarter of a trillion dollars and our AAA rating once again maintained.

“I can announce that the budget position today is even stronger and the forecast surplus for 2017-18 has been revised up from $2.7 billion to $3.3 billion which better reflects our planned activity.

“We are still forecasting strong surpluses for the next four years, above $2 billion.

“With our diversified economy here in NSW, we are very well placed to make the most of the opportunities that will come from those growing markets and opportunities for our exports particularly in the area of tourism, education and health services.

“We announced today as well that our infrastructure investment has topped $80 billion.

“To put that in perspective…that is greater than the entire infrastructure investment that’s happening in the county of Canada.

“The construction that we are seeing across the state right now is unprecedented.

“We have seen record construction activity across the state. We’re building apartments, houses, roads, schools, hospitals. Everywhere you look you will see cranes in the sky.

“This record infrastructure investment that is really reshaping our state, has come from the asset recycling approach – the long-term leasing of the poles and wires – which the public backed us in the last election, so (there is) over $30 billion now in Restart NSW that we can invest in productive infrastructure. 

“That public investment is adding about half a percentage point over the next two years to the State’s economic growth.

“Our economy…continues to outperform the other states particularly in relation to employment and jobs. We maintain having the lowest unemployment rate in the nation.

“The unemployment rate…is at 4.6 per cent, a full percentage point lower than the next state being Victoria with the rest of Australia having an unemployment rate of 5.8 per cent (or more).

“We’ve created 219,000 jobs, nine per cent of those jobs in construction.

“What is important to the jobs growth here in NSW is that 80 per cent of those new jobs (that) have come in, (are) full time employment…while the rest of the country is about 42 per cent. That gives you a strong sense of the strength of the labour market here.

“All of this activity is giving momentum to what I call a virtuous cycle. Our investment is breeding more business investment which is breeding greater confidence across the board.

“That’s generating more revenue for the government which gives us the opportunity to further invest or give back and provide relief to families across the state.”