AUSTRALIA’S economic woes have been exacerbated by the government’s handling of the Northern Territory budget.
The Northern Territory Government said last week that the country’s debt would reach $US2.6 trillion this year, an increase of $US800 billion compared with last year.
The government has said that the budget deficit, which was $US1.3 billion in the year to September, is now projected to rise to $US3.6 billion this year.
But while the Government has made it clear that it is prepared to accept the budget, there is growing evidence that the Territory has done little to stop its problems.
“The NT is in a position of having no real plan at all, it’s all a mess,” said Ian Gurney, professor of economics at Monash University.
Gurney said there was no coherent plan for the NT to fix its finances.
“There is a lack of accountability, and it’s really hard to say whether the NT is the kind of government that you want in charge of the economy.”
Gurman says the NT budget was a bad idea GURMAN says the budget was “not a good idea”, but says it was not a bad deal.
In a statement on Friday, Finance Minister Tim Wilson said he was “deeply disappointed” by the Budget.
Wilson told the ABC that the Budget did not reflect NT’s real economic situation, and was a “disaster for the state’s economy”.
He said the NT’s debt is projected to exceed $US600 billion by the end of the financial year, which will lead to significant changes to taxation and social services.
However, it has also raised the prospect of a massive $US200 billion debt write-down, in which the Government would have to sell its assets.
Mr Wilson said the Budget was a great success in showing the NT Government is ready to take responsibility for the financial situation of its territory.
Read more: The Government has also announced that it will no longer allow its capital gains tax rates to rise by more than 5 per cent above the rate of inflation.
Instead, it is introducing a 4 per cent increase in the capital gains rate, to be paid into the NT economy.
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