From a surplus of about $300m in 2014/15 – half-way through its term – the CLP government is plunging the NT into a $800m deficit.
It will be as bad as Labor’s in 2010/11.
The projected return to a balanced Budget by 2019/20 is wishful thinking, according to observers, including CDU Professor Rolf Gerritsen.
This is the spend that Chief Minister Adam Giles is putting front and centre in his Budget message:-
• Targeting homeowners and tradies with a $20m Home Improvement Scheme.
• $970m is set aside for education and $1.52b for health.
• $1m for a study voucher program to help eligible apprentices and trainees with the cost of work wear and other necessities in their first year.
• $600,000 for higher education scholarships and $420,000 for a cadetship program to support paid work experience with private sector employers for students on vacation breaks. Once royalties from onshore gas developments are available these programs will be expanded.
• The $1.7b infrastructure budget will create jobs and improve roads, barge landings and airstrips.
• The new $350 million remote housing package with the Commonwealth Government will deliver more and better housing in the bush.