AN extensive assessment of both the Federal and ACT budgets was presented to a Deloitte business forum in Canberra yesterday. The event included a panel discussion featuring ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr, ActewAGL CEO Michael Costello, Colliers International ACT Chief Executive Paul Powderly and Deloitte Access Economics Director Chris Richardson.
According to Deloitte Access Economics’ Chris Richardson: “The Federal Budget hasn’t really changed the overall picture for the ACT’s economy that much.”
“When it comes to spending cuts, and in spite of all the talk of a brutal Federal budget, this one wasn’t particularly tough. There will indeed be short term pain through to early 2016 in terms of Federal public sector layoffs, but these have been known for a while.
“Although an extra 2,000 positions were sliced from the Federal footprint, but they merely sit on top of the 14,500 positions lost due to decisions announced by Labor while it was in office.
“And while the Feds have sent a shot across the bows of the states and territories, it would be surprising if too much comes of that. State and territory budgets released since their Federal equivalent have shown no signs of panic.
“The good news is that, even if all the cuts announced in the Federal budget get through the Senate, the decisions in the budget merely dial Federal spending back to an average of 2.7% real growth a year for the coming decade, compared to an actual annual growth of 3.0% over the past 10 years. Labor had promised to cut spending back to an average of 2.0% real growth – which would have been much tougher.”