Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2005 Week 2 Hansard (15 February) . . Page.. 440..
Document incorporated by the Treasurer
Mr Speaker, I present the Mid Year Review and Budget Update for 2004-2005.
The Financial Management Act 1996 requires the Treasurer to prepare a Budget Mid Year Review for each financial year. The Review is due for presentation to the Legislative Assembly no later than 15 February of each financial year. This is to coincide with the presentation of the December quarterly financial statements in the Assembly.
The Review requires an update to the estimated financial position for the current year, and updated budget estimates for each of the next three financial years.
Mr Speaker, the 2004-05 Mid Year Review is used as a tool to measure the Government's progress in achieving the Budget Strategy.
Mr Speaker, over successive budgets the Government has set itself the objective of achieving aggregate balanced budgets and to deliver the highest possible standard of government services. The Mid Year Review forecasts an aggregate operating result of $219 million over the term 2002-03 to 2005-06 and an aggregate operating result of $13.7 million over the term 2004-05 to 2007-08.
Mr Speaker, the result takes into consideration the 2nd Appropriation Bill for 2004-05, which will be presented in the Assembly on Thursday. The Bill provides for:
the financial resources to support the Government's election commitments that commence in 2004-05;
additional resources towards responding to the recommendations of the Vardon Report; and
unavoidable costs pressures and the finalisation of a number of Enterprise Bargaining Agreements.
Mr Speaker, the Mid Year Review also outlines an update to the economic parameters that underpin the assumptions used in developing the estimates.
The Review also outlines current risks to the estimates, the most prominent being the potential loss of Special Revenue Assistance. The Commonwealth has stated that Special Revenue Assistance will not be paid from 2005-06, although, there is an expectation that at least some of the SRA will be met through an adjustment to the ACT's share of GST.
Mr Speaker, I also note that the international rating agency Standard & Poor's Ratings Service has reaffirmed the ACT's AAA credit rating and the Government's economic management credentials.
Mr Speaker, I commend this Review to the Assembly.