‘Significant borrowings’ expected in State Budget
Treasurer Cameron Dick has promised Queensland's debt will be less than that of NSW and Victoria and there won't be any changes to the state's revenue streams.
Asked today if the Government would borrow more than the $4 billion foreshadowed during the election campaign, a tight-lipped Mr Dick revealed there would be "significant borrowings".
And pressed on whether there would be any new charges in Tuesday's Budget, Mr Dick vowed there would not be any changes to the government's revenue streams - including taxes.
Promising a Budget that locks in Labor's election commitments, Mr Dick said Queenslanders would have to wait until Tuesday to find out what assumptions had been used for his first Budget as Treasurer.
The Government's COVID-19 fiscal and economic review was based on the assumption that a vaccine may be developed by mid-next year with international borders to subsequently reopen.
But Mr Dick would not be drawn on the Budget's assumptions, repeatedly saying they would be released on Tuesday as he said they would take a "conservative approach".
"Clearly this is a vicious, unpredictable and dangerous virus," he said.
"And until the rest of the world can get it under control, it will be difficult for those international borders to open - but that's obviously a matter for the federal government.
"We're hopeful of course that the vaccine can be distributed earlier. But we need to be careful with our assumptions."
Total debt had been forecast to reach about $102 billion in the 2020-21 financial year, but that did not include the $4 billion in borrowings that Labor promised to fund its election commitments.
"The debt numbers in Queensland will be lower than NSW and Victoria, and that will be a positive thing for our state," Mr Dick said today.
"We were very clear with Queenslanders - we said there would be deficits over the forward estimates.
"And of course the only way you can fund that is through borrowings."
Mr Dick said the borrowings would be "reasonable and prudent".
Asked about the economic impact of keeping state borders closed, he said the details would be released on Tuesday - claiming that a second COVID wave would have cost the Queensland economy $3.1 billion a month.
Originally published as 'Significant borrowings' expected in State Budget