27 September 2023

Finance report finds pandemic weathered

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Treasury’s Quarterly Financial Report issued in December 2021 has revealed strong results for the State’s economy and finances throughout that year.

According to the Report, total public sector net debt fell to $28.4 billion by the end of 2021, $5.1 billion lower than at the beginning of this financial year.

Premier, Mark McGowan said this was the lowest level of debt in almost six years, while the State also recorded a $4.8 billion surplus for the six months to 31 December 2021.

“This largely reflects the timing of revenue collections, particularly receipt of the $2.1 billion GST floor payment, and stronger economic conditions, and is partly offset by increased expenditure,” Mr McGowan said.

“The continued strength of WA’s economy has driven larger tax collections, particularly due to the strong labour market, buoyant property market, and higher vehicle licences and insurance duties, with taxation revenue up $844 million.”

He said royalty collections were $464 million higher due to elevated iron ore prices and the continued operation of the mining industry throughout the pandemic.

“Our commitment to recruit more front-line staff for health, education and police, and continued investment in health services saw expenditure $879 million higher than the same period in 2020,” Mr McGowan said.

“Our infrastructure spend totalled $3.3 billion for the six months to 31 December 2021, more than 30 per cent or $795 million higher compared to the same period in 2020.”

He said that while debt levels in other States were increasing rapidly, exacerbated by long lockdowns due to COVID-19 “we have sought to minimise the public health impacts and economic disruption of the virus”.

“Our strong financial position is assisting us with our transition to living with COVID-19, providing us with the financial capacity to provide support where needed,” the Premier said.

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