QLD budget deficit…let’s see the detail tomorrow

Much is being made in today’s media of the QLD budget deficit for 2014-15 apparently blowing out from the $664m forecast in the Mid-year review to $2.3bn in tomorrow’s budget papers. The $1.6bn increase (about 3.2% of the $50bn state budget) is being partly blamed on a $600m undershoot in coal royalties and also delays in commonwealth disaster recovery funding. Given the MYFER outlined $2.9bn of disaster revenues in the 2014-15 budget, delays to some or all of these payments would indeed have significant impacts on the cash balance. However, until we see the details tomorrow it is too early to determine whether the deterioration is of a structural or temporary nature.
Worth also remembering that the deficit was $5.5bn in 2011-12, $7.7bn in 2012-13 and forecast (in MYFER) to be $7.6bn in 2013-14. we shall wait to see what the budget provides as a more up-to-date projection for the actual 2013-14 outcome. Nevertheless a result of $2.3bn in 2014-15 (if it eventuates) would still be a significant improvement.

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