WA Premier Mark McGowan handed down his inaugural Budget as Treasurer today. Key highlights from the 2021-22 State Budget include:
A record $5.6bn operating surplus for the general government sector in 2020-21 powered by sky-high iron ore prices during the year
Smaller but consistent surpluses over the forward estimates period, including $2.8bn in 2021-22
Revenues projected to moderate from 2022-23, with Treasury predicting average prices of US$121.3 a tonne for iron ore in 2021-22 and US$66 a tonne in the remaining forward estimates
The State’s record capital investment program rolls on even as revenue is forecast to soften, with cumulative cash deficits for the public sector subsequently forecast, totalling more than $3.2bn over the final three outyears
As a result, public sector net debt is forecast to bottom out at $32.1bn by the end of 2021-22, before climbing to $35.6bn by the end of the forward estimates period
The State’s Asset Investment Program is forecast to be a record $30.7bn over the forward estimates period. However, timelines for completion of some projects have been stretched over a longer horizon relative to the previous Budget to help ease inflationary pressures
The State economy is forecast to grow by 3.25 per cent in 2020-21 - the highest since the end of the mining boom. Treasury expects growth to be slightly stronger at 3.5 per cent in 2021-22, before dropping to average just 1.25 per cent through the Budget outyears as international borders re-open.
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