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Conservative financial management and external good fortune

In his commentary on the 2015 budget, Dr Jon Standford writes:

'The starting point of the Budget was the commitment not to increase royalties, tax rates, or the rate of growth of fees and charges, to increase the net operating balance and to pay down General Government Sector debt while keeping public assets. As well there were election promises of increased spending to fulfill. Having cast the budget into such a conservative straight-jacket it required some skill or good fortune to escape these bounds. Adding to the difficulties of achieving the seemingly impossible, royalties from coal fell as a result of the slump in export prices while royalties from LNG are not flowing in as soon or in such quantities was previously envisaged. But this is not critical. Royalties are a low proportion of Total Revenue being less than six per cent.

'How did the Treasurer do it? 

Read on ... 


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