Four pillars to improve the lives of citizens, now and into the future.
The Government’s fiscal and economic policies, combined with record infrastructure investment, have transformed New South Wales into the economic engine room of Australia. In the four years to June 2018 the New South Wales economy experienced the fastest per capita growth of any state in Australia. The Government’s investment decisions have dramatically improved the quality and level of service that citizens receive from government, leading the way with the Service NSW network. While improving services for today, the Government has maintained a clear focus on the future, initiating and leading the largest infrastructure program in the State’s history.
The Government’s ambitious agenda – including the election commitment package funded through this Budget – is being sustainably delivered due to disciplined financial management. The Government is keeping debt at sustainable levels, and retaining a triple-A credit rating. The State has managed through recent global and local challenges, growing the economy and maintaining budget surpluses, without raising taxes. However, the Government is not taking its past success for granted and is planning for the future. The Government is implementing four policy pillars to support continued prosperity for New South Wales.
The first pillar is an Economic Blueprint for the future of New South Wales (the Blueprint). It will present long-term strategies to deliver the next phase of economic growth. The Government established the NSW Productivity Commission in 2018 to identify reform priorities for the economy, to support business investment and innovation, and improve lives. The Blueprint will complement this.
The second pillar is managing a balance sheet that lowers the financial burden for future generations. In the 2018-19 Budget, New South Wales became the first state or territory in Australia to establish a sovereign wealth fund, the NSW Generations Fund (NGF). Seeded with an initial investment of $10.0 billion in late 2018, the NGF is projected to grow to more than $28.0 billion over the next decade. This initiative will help the Government maintain sustainable debt levels consistent with a triple-A credit rating, helping support current and future generations.
The third pillar is re-examining federal financial relations from a state perspective. As the NSW economy continues to grow and evolve, the Government will need to maintain a stable and reliable revenue base to fund essential services and infrastructure. The Government is therefore undertaking a review of the State’s revenue system as it relates to federal funding and its interactions with the state tax system. The Government wants the people of New South Wales to join in the conversation on how the revenue system can work better for all, including better integration between state and federal taxes.
The fourth and final pillar is ensuring government is focused on delivering better outcomes, not bigger government. The Government is continuing its move to outcomes budgeting. At the same time, it is announcing the Digital Restart Fund and is consolidating public sector agencies, so the State’s public administration is streamlined, effective and citizen focused.