Biggest deficit in Territory history: Opposition Leader


p2239-Gary-HigginsLETTER TO THE EDITOR
Sir – The interest on the debt created by the 2017 NT Budget could fund a new Palmerston Hospital every year.
The Gunner Labor Government has been in office for less than a year and already it has crippled the Territory’s finances.
A $1.3b deficit is far worse than anybody predicted and points to Budget mismanagement on a massive scale. We knew the deficit was going to be bad. We didn’t know it was going to be this bad.
The Gunner Labor Government promised to balance the Budget. Instead, it has taken less than a year to preside over the largest deficit in the Territory’s history.
The size of the debt is so staggering, the taxes and charges they’ve increased are less than 1% of the total deficit.
Only a shocking level of negligence could allow the Budget to get this bad without taking any remedial action.
Treasurers normally closely guard the final budget outcome. This is the first time a Treasurer has released the number in advance because it is so frightening.
The Gunner Labor Government will sheet blame onto the GST cuts, but even without those, the size of the deficit would still be enormous.
This is a Government that has slammed shut the door on private investment through its on-shore gas moratorium and Dan Murphy’s ban.
I am worried about the future of the Territory. Territorians will be paying off this debt for years.
Gary Higgins (pictured)
Opposition Leader


  1. Appreciate that our Opposition Leader is doing it tough but how about some clear figures and commentary about budget line items and the assertions he is making?
    Is this really the best media release he can come up with in 2017?
    A serious analysis of the hows and whys and the impact of the Feds GST announcement would serve Territorians much more right now that the tired ol’ Labor budget debt routine.
    IMO it would be good to see our Opposition Leader negotiating the terms of bi-partisanship support on the big issues affecting the Territory’s future.
    Perhaps even help the Chief Minister stare down Turnbull’s shallow northern power play.
    Sadly all the CLP rhetoric indicates so far is that they gonna fall straight into line and sell out the Territory for very little strategic net benefit.
    The future of the Territory indeed.

  2. Hi Edan – just a heads up, we’ll have our usual Budget coverage from the lock-up on Budget Day, May 2. Look for it at 11am, the usual embargo. We’ll also have further major commentary before and after.
    Erwin Chlanda, Editor

  3. You would think from reading Mr Higgins’s spray that his mob left office with no debt and eating cake by the ocean.
    I think as voters are getting sick of the cheap, typical rhetoric that gets spewed up by politicians.
    I also appreciate his dilemma. The voters can vote him in or out at the next election in just over three years. His party could give him the boot by the end of the week if he doesn’t say things to appease them.

  4. The biggest deficit in NT history was the last CLP government. Those egotistical self serving fools proved they couldn’t run a chook raffle.


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