2019 Budget: Daniel Andrews backs in property prices
Premier Daniel Andrews expects Victoria’s housing market to rebound but insists his 2019-2020 budget isn’t at the mercy of property prices.
Full interview: Tom Elliott grills Daniel Andrews on state budget
The property slump has punched a $5 billion hole in the government’s finances but Labor is pressing on with its ambitious infrastructure program.
The government will borrow an extra $32 billion over the next four years to help fund its road and rail projects while expanding frontline services — an investment that will also keep boosting economic activity.
Treasurer Tim Pallas has also left the door open for public sector job losses, demanding almost $2 billion in savings from government departments.
There’s also likely to be bitter fights over public sector wage increases.
Premier Daniel Andrews told Tom Elliott he’s “confident things will pick up” in the property market.
“The reason we run surpluses each year … (and) live within our means, is so we’ve got a buffer,” Mr Andrews told 3AW Drive, pointing to a forecast $11.3 billion in surpluses over four years.
He reiterated, under questioning, that he won’t be taking federal government’s $4 billion to build the East-West Link, but insisted he had already started a healthy relationship with newly-elected Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“I had a good chat with him Saturday … and I’ll be catching up with him later in the week,” Mr Andrews said.
“I think there are some areas where we can find common ground.”
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