New South Wales Budget Unfolds

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IN PHOTO: Ukraine's Finance Minister Natalia Yaresko speaks to deputies during a report for the fulfillment of the state budget in parliament, in Kiev, Ukraine, June 16, 2015. Yaresko said on Tuesday Ukraine was fulfilling all its debt obligations despite strained restructuring talks and was not treating its $3 billion debt to Russia differently from its other bonds. Ukraine is negotiating with foreign bondholders to restructure $23 billion worth of debt, but talks have soured over a disagreement on the necessity of a write down on the principal of the bonds. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko

New South Wales(NSW) budget has revealed a series of surpluses covering the next four years. Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian has outlined the first budget after joining the office comprising of high economic growth and  matching ongoing property market boom. In the budget, Ms. Berejiklian proposed an expenditure of AU$765.78 million to accomplish infrastructural projects that included the Sydney Metro, bus rapid transit, health, roads and Parramatta Light Rail with the help of windfall tax revenues. However, she was confident about funds as legislation consisting of the detailed transaction passed the NSW parliament.

The allocation of the funding would partially come from electricity privatisation where the government sought to spend AU$765.78 million on infrastructure. A  new "crack team" dealing with the Priority Projects Branch – would be organised so as to make it less time consuming while assessing state’s important projects, Ms. Berejiklian reported. For now, to deal with stamp duty revenue an amount of AU$9.19 billion would be made available to the state this year which might exceed AU$38.93 billion by the financial year of 2019. However, no announcements on stamp duty concessions were found to be suggested to comply with Sydney housing crisis.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that the budget directed an extra AU$519.07 million to fast track infrastructure for new housing and a total amount of AU$2.73 billion surplus was allocated to the state for the current financial year. Rail capital payment would also enjoy strong surplus cash. With so many surpluses declared, Ms. Berejiklian issued a statement saying that it was "a story of strong and careful fiscal discipline over the last four years, coupled with government strengthening the economy" to achieve effective growth management.

An increase of 1.5 percent in the efficiency dividend has been announced which would save about AU$778.61 million in the years to come. However, the budget also contained the information about the Commonwealth’s reduced funding to education and health from 2017-18 as outlined by the former treasurer last year.

Ms. Berejiklian said that the budget papers promised to increase employment over the next four years, deal with new Sydney Metro rail projects and provide capital funding of private sector schools upto AU$64.88million. A further AU$25.95 million would be directed to private prison maintenance and AU$24.66 million to Greater Sydney Commission for the development of the city. 

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