Thursday, 1 November 2012

So why did Grafton have to lose its gaol and the Clarence Valley economy take a hit when the O'Farrell Government's budget was in surplus by June 2012?

NSW Auditor-General’s Report to Parliament, 31 October 2012:
 
The 2011-12 Budget Result was a $680 million surplus, $1.4 billion better than expected.....

The Budget Result was $1.0 billion better than predicted in the 2012-13 Budget Papers published in June 2012.....

Total revenues and expenses for the whole-of-government were $71.3 billion and $69.6 billion respectively, resulting in a Net Operating Balance of $1.7 billion surplus....

The State had around $10.0 billion of cash and cash equivalents at 30 June 2012 ($11.8 billion). Most of the decrease was due to the transfer of $3.8 billion cash to the State’s superannuation investments. This cash was the proceeds from last year’s electricity transactions.

Total revenues, including revenue from taxation, grants and subsidies, sales of goods and services, interest, dividends and income tax equivalents, all increased in the year ending 30 June 2012. The State is fat with Commonwealth grants and subsidies, currently has over $300 billion in assets, mostly property, plant and equipment and still has a AAA international credit rating.
 
So why was it so urgent to suddenly close Grafton Gaol in June-July 2012 and put at least 100 local people out of work at short notice?
 
Ah, of course - O'Farrell & Co could get their sums right for the Parliamentary Contributory Superannuation Fund but couldn't add up when it came to the General Government Sector and decided to cry poor.

Since the announcement that the NSW Government now has a budgetary surplus, there have been two conflicting political untruths uttered:

When asked if restoring the Grafton jail to its former capacity was a possibility in light of the surplus, [NSW Deputy Premier] Mr Stoner said 'it was all in the mix.'

"It (the surplus) is not there. The underlying position of NSW remains in deficit," [NSW Treasurer] Mr Baird told reporters in Sydney on Wednesday.

UPDATE:

A third conflicting political untruth has been put forward by the NSW North Coast Nationals; Member for Clarence Chris Gulaptis said the billion-dollar surplus was merely the result of dodgy accounting on the part of the Federal Government.
"This billion-dollar surplus is just extra revenue the Commonwealth has brought forward," said Mr Gulaptis. "It is just a combination of stimulus funding and the Federal Government bolstering their position."