TREASURER Ian Ling-Stuckey says the 2020 national budget to be tabled this month is being prepared with the focus on the next five years.
“The framework will cover five years. So it will include high-level information on revenue, spending, the budget deficit and debt from 2020 to 2024,” he said.
He said the broad principles that the Government would be using were:
- Spend the money we have more wisely;
- raise the revenues more fairly;
- finance the debt more cheaply;
- leverage friendly international support more intelligently;
- get foreign exchange flowing more freely;
- focus on the agriculture sector, SMEs and informal sector;
- distribute resource benefits more equitably;
- stimulate non-resource growth back to 5 per cent annually;
- create at least 10,000 jobs annually.
“This was built upon the work being done by our public servants over the past few months,” he said.
“This work has had to deal with the major budget revisions revealed by the due diligence/IMF process, and the subsequent cuts in the supplementary budget.
“The budget process is a tough one – a demanding one requiring balancing different claims on a very limited pot of money. I am proud of the work that has been done by our staff in central agencies, as well as all our other departments and agencies that have put together their budget bids.”
Ling-Stuckey said they would take into account some “unpaid bills”.
“They are so large that they cannot be paid off in one year,” Ling-Stuckey said.
“They need to be separated out to present an underlying, on-going picture of how the budget is doing.”