Mini budget papers 2012 - 2013
Northern Territory. Department of Treasury
Northern Territory budget papers; Reports; PublicationNT
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Appropriations and expenditures; Periodicals; Budget; Finance, Public
Northern Territory Government
2012/13 mini budget
Attribution International 4.0 (CC BY 4.0)
Northern Territory Government
https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591481; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591483; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591484; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591473; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591475; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591477; https://hdl.handle.net/10070/591480
6 Ministerial Statement To put this in perspective, interest payable on borrowings to meet the pre-Mini Budget fiscal imbalance of $981million in 2012-13 would have cost taxpayers close on $60million per year. That is more than the tourism budget, an area that is vital to the long-term sustainability of the Territory. By way of further example, $60million per year spent on interest would employ another 600nurses, not just for one year but every year indefinitely. And that is just one years fiscal imbalance. We were facing fiscal imbalances, accumulating by a further $3.7billion over the next four years, a clearly untenable situation. 2. Power and Water Corporation Decisions By far the biggest single issue facing the Territory was the parlous financial state of the Power and Water Corporation. Power and Water requires an ongoing improvement of at least $200million per annum to operate as a sustainable government owned corporation. There are three broad choices: bigger subsidies from the taxpayer; reduced costs of generation and transmission; or increased tariffs charged to consumers of electricity, water and sewerage services. When faced with the fact that Power and Water Corporation had for years been denied the ability to cover its costs through its charges, the Governmentwas faced with the prospect of paying even bigger taxpayer subsidies to that struggling enterprise. A $200million subsidy is equivalent to the cost of employing 2000 public servants. It is a sum equal to the combined budgets of Tourism, Primary Industry and Fisheries, Mines and Energy, Arts and Museums, and Sport and Recreation. There is no alternative or Labor magic pudding to call upon. The burden of keeping Power and Water Corporation viable has to be borne by either the Territory taxpayer or by the users of power and water products in the Territory. One way or the other, the money comes out of the pockets of Territorians. There is no doubt in my mind that the fairer way is that, barring substantial cost cutting, the users of the product meet the cost. It should not be overlooked that even after the tariff increases, Territorians will only pay prices close to the average of those paid by other Australians. 3. Unfunded Legacies We have uncovered substantial unfunded commitments made by the previous Government, many of which we had no choice other than to fund. None stand out more than in the then Department of Children and Families where the Chief Executive has advised she was instructed by the then Minister to hire over 90 staff in the last month of the 2011-12 financial year, despite the fact that there was no budget provision in 2012-13. Sadly, this was the tip of the iceberg.
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