NSW budget surplus comes in at $3.9b

The NSW treasurer had revealed a budget surplus of $3.9 billion and promised to use “the holy grail of numbers” to address cost-of-living pressures across the state.
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Despite losing more than $5.5 billion in stamp duty revenue the surplus for 2017/18 exceeded expectations by $600 million off the back of increased mining royalties and GST receipts.

Nine months out from the March 2019 state election, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet on Tuesday promised his 2018/19 budget would help ease cost-of-living pressures for families while maintaining a record $87 billion infrastructure spend.

NSW Treasurer Portrait of Dominic Perrotet. Photo: James Brickwood

The treasurer’s message focused on the hip pocket but more than half of government expenditure is flowing to the transport portfolio next financial year, including $4.3 billion for the Sydney Metro.

The controversial WestConnex motorway will receive $1.8 billion in 2018/19 while $258 million will kickstart the first stage of the Parramatta Light Rail.

In total, the coalition government will spend $51 billion on road and rail over the next four years.

Despite lacking any big ticket items for struggling families, the government has extended universal education access to three-year-olds, saving parents an average of $825 per year.

It has also cut certain parking fines and streamlined Service NSW, which it says will help residents to find the best energy deals.

“This is a budget that puts people first, it builds for tomorrow and delivers for today,” Mr Perrottet told reporters.

A $740 million upgrade to Liverpool Hospital headlines health spending with the government committing $8 billion over four years on upgrades and new facilities.

Some $17 billion will be spent on education in 2018/19 while $6 billion will be committed over four years to address a big increase in enrolments.

A sovereign wealth fund will also be created next year, starting with $3 billion, with 50 per cent of the interest generated each year going toward community projects.

Australian Associated Press

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