7 May 2019
Today’s budget was exactly what the Opposition expected – a poor excuse for economic management from a Gunner Labor Government that’s incapable of fiscal restraint.
Opposition Leader Gary Higgins said there was no guarantee of prosperity for the Territory, and there was next to nothing in the way of providing the certainty and measures needed to reinflate the economy through private sector investment.
"This Gunner Labor Government is so out of touch is has no idea how to encourage private sector investment, and they have put off the hard decisions to the next election and the ones beyond," he said.
"The Government has increased the net debt from $4.2 billion in 18/19 to $6.2 billion in 19/20. That is a catastrophic increase of $2 billion in only 12 months. That’s the equivalent of a $167 million increase per month in the space of 12 months.
"If this is their record, how can we trust them on their promise to deliver in the next decade?"
Last week, CommSec’s State of the States Report outlined that the Northern Territory was the worst performer in the country, and today’s Sensis Business Index for March isn’t any better as we have seen another decline, Mr Higgins said.
"Business confidence continues to decline in the Northern Territory, and we continue to be the worst performing economy in the nation" he said.
"There is nothing significant that encourages private sector investment and the Territory is suffering because of it.
"The Gunner Labor Government thinks the economy is starting to turn but it just isn’t the case.
"Our population is still projected to decline by 0.7 per cent in 19/20, and the net debt in 22/23 is $8 billion for an economy of only 250,000 people."
The Opposition will deliver their budget reply tomorrow at 10am.