Mid-Year Economic Review Reveals Further Challenges for Queensland Budget: CCIQ
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) has today warned the Palaszczuk Government that an overreliance on elevated coal prices has exacerbated the challenges of meeting the commitments outlined in the state budget only six months earlier following the release of today’s Mid-year Fiscal and Economic Review (MYFER).
The state’s budget net operating balance was revised down to $151 million as softer metallurgical and thermal coal prices and lower GST receipts lowered the state’s final revenue for the 2019/20 financial year.
CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy, Amanda Rohan said the state government budget’s overreliance on optimistic commodity prices have exposed the Palaszczuk government’s challenges in dealing with the highest unemployment rate in the nation and a collapse in business confidence to the lowest reading since the GFC following the latest Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse survey.
“The Palaszczuk government’s ‘economic plan’ to create more jobs in more industries, increase economic opportunities and enhance the capacity of Queenslander’s is not being realised quick enough to stimulate economic demand so that adequate conditions exist for private sector businesses to invest and create jobs with confidence,” Ms Rohan said.
An analysis of the government’s announcement regarding the creation of 223,000 since coming to office fails to acknowledge that 65% of these positions have been created in government industries such as health, administrations and education, and training.
The budget announced $51.8 billion worth of infrastructure spending as a near term boost to economic activity but only a handful of key projects are ‘breaking ground’ in the coming months.
“It might be a case of too little too late for the small businesses community, who are calling on increased investment and spending on key projects to be bought forward”.
The MYFER update provided further detail on a proposed ‘Queensland Future Fund’ that would seek to act as a facility to help draw down the state’s debt burden forecast to reach $91.7 billion by 2022-23.
CCIQ notes that the accelerated level of public servant hiring amidst a subdued business outlook remains a concern with more than 40% of the state’s expenditure allocated to wages.