Page 80 - Week 01 - Tuesday, 25 February 2014

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The 2013-14 budget review confirms the territory’s fiscal position is strong, but it also recognises that there are pressures arising as a result of decisions of the commonwealth government and of a softening economic outlook for the ACT.

This government considers that the territory is well placed to respond to future potential fiscal shocks and to emerging risks, and we will closely review the sustainability and structure of the budget in the lead-up to the 2014-15 territory budget. I therefore commend the budget review to the Assembly.

Financial Management Act—consolidated financial report

Paper and statement by minister

MR BARR (Molonglo—Deputy Chief Minister, Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Sport and Recreation, Minister for Tourism and Events and Minister for Community Services): For the information of members I present the following paper:

Financial Management Act, pursuant to section 26—Consolidated Financial Report—Financial quarter ending 31 December 2013.

I seek leave to make a statement in relation to the paper.

Leave granted.

MR BARR: I present to the Assembly the December quarter 2013 consolidated financial report for the territory. This report is required under section 26 of the Financial Management Act 1996. The December quarter headline net operating balance for the general government sector was a deficit of $94.6 million. This result was $3.8 million higher than the year-to-date budget deficit of $90.8 million.

Total revenue for the GGS for the quarter was $2,177.9 million. This is $13.6 million higher than the December year-to-date budget of $2,164.3 million. Major variations in total revenue include: higher than expected taxation revenue of $24.4 million, which is reflective of the cut in commercial stamp duty that has delivered the anticipated result and more in terms of higher conveyance revenues in the commercial conveyancing area; higher than expected interest income of $12.6 million as a result of an increased level of funds held under investment; and higher than expected distributions from financial investments of $12.2 million.

These increases in revenue were partially offset by lower sales of goods and services revenue, as a result of the timing of the signing and commencement of the new cross-border health agreement with New South Wales.

Total expenses of $2,301.9 million were broadly in line with the year-to-date budget of $2,298.6 million. The GGS balance sheet remains strong, as reflected in the key indicators of the net financial liabilities and net worth of the territory. I am pleased to commend the December quarterly 2013 report to the Assembly.

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