Timely Strength in Coal and Gas Activity Provides Boost to Queensland Budget: CCIQ
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) while welcoming a boost to the state’s finances again urges the government to assess the uplift in the context of elevated resources prices being the key driver.
CCIQ Chief Economist, Dr Marcus Smith said the latest MYFER is one with few surprises and again recycles a series of previously announced government spending initiatives.
“The $376m upward revision in the budget position coincides with an improvement in the domestic economy for Queensland over the last few months, most notably retail consumption and improving visitor numbers have helped, whilst at the same time the value of exports from Queensland have remained elevated.
“Nevertheless, the government program of infrastructure spending is well known and the budget improvement as a result of commodity pricing masks, in some part, the need to be somewhat more judicious with the taxpayer dollar particular in the areas of swelling public service numbers.
“Yes, as the Treasurer mentioned, there was relatively strong job creation since 2015 - but that has been predominantly in the public sector; and the October state employment figures suggest that growth appears to be pulling up quite significantly (See https://www.cciq.com.au/business-voice/cciq-data-analytics/whats-really-going-on-with-queenslands-employment-numbers/ ).
“Of course, it is not a difficult feat for any government to achieve jobs growth by simply increasing government spending; the genuine challenge for Queensland lies in fostering jobs within the non-government sector,” Dr Smith said.
CCIQ notes that economic activity and stronger population growth need to be complemented by a framework which encourages investment.