Fiscal discipline helping with budget repair

Written on the 1 March 2018

The McGowan Government's progress in returning the State's finances to a more sustainable position is clearly evident in the financial results for the first six months of 2017-18.


The general government sector recorded an operating deficit of $701 million for the six months to December 31, 2017. This outcome is $744 million lower than the $1.4 billion operating deficit reported for the same period last year under the previous government.


This indicates that the sector is tracking towards a much improved outcome relative to the full year projected deficit of $2.6 billion, contained in the December 2017 Mid-year Review.


The lower deficit outcome is driven by an exceptionally low rate of expense growth, with expenses increasing by just 0.3 per cent (or $45 million) relative to the first six months of 2016-17.


The State's revenue base is also showing further signs of improvement, with general government revenue increasing by six per cent for the first six months of 2017-18 relative to the same period last year.


This is despite tax collections, such as land tax revenue, being lower relative to this time last year.


The growth has been largely supported by higher dividend income (up $558 million) from Government Trading Enterprises, as a result of the suite of efficiency measures introduced as part of the 2017-18 Budget.


The December 2017 report is available at

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