Amy Remeikis reports in the Brisbane Times (24.5.16) on suggestions that the state government will access surplus funds from the public service's Defined Benefits Scheme to help pay for infrastructure projects and balance the soon-to-be-announced budget.
'The Queensland government has confirmed it is looking at "repatriating" a portion of the public service Defined Benefit Scheme surplus, as it looks for ways to balance a lacklustre budget.
'After shifting $4.1 billion in state debt to the state-owned electricity assets last year, the government is also looking at "repatriating" - or in plainer English, taking back - "a portion of the large surplus in the QSuper Defined Benefit Scheme, in accordance with advice from the State Actuary".
'Last year, Treasurer Curtis Pitt announced the government would use the funds it usually paid into the scheme - $2 billion over five years - to pay down debt, in what he termed a "contributions holiday", while assuring the eligible 49,000 public servants that the scheme would remain at "more than 100 per cent fully funded".
'But a line in last year's budget speech hinted at this year's plan.'