Sir – The interest on the debt created by the 2017 NT Budget could fund a new Palmerston Hospital every year.
The Gunner Labor Government has been in office for less than a year and already it has crippled the Territory’s finances.
A $1.3b deficit is far worse than anybody predicted and points to Budget mismanagement on a massive scale. We knew the deficit was going to be bad. We didn’t know it was going to be this bad.
The Gunner Labor Government promised to balance the Budget. Instead, it has taken less than a year to preside over the largest deficit in the Territory’s history.
The size of the debt is so staggering, the taxes and charges they’ve increased are less than 1% of the total deficit.
Only a shocking level of negligence could allow the Budget to get this bad without taking any remedial action.
Treasurers normally closely guard the final budget outcome. This is the first time a Treasurer has released the number in advance because it is so frightening.
The Gunner Labor Government will sheet blame onto the GST cuts, but even without those, the size of the deficit would still be enormous.
This is a Government that has slammed shut the door on private investment through its on-shore gas moratorium and Dan Murphy’s ban.
I am worried about the future of the Territory. Territorians will be paying off this debt for years.
Gary Higgins (pictured)