Mullighan forecasts $233m surplus in return state budget

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan will today hand down the first Labor state budget since 2017, forecasting a $233 million surplus in the 2022-23 financial year, and predicting the budget will remain in the black across the forward estimates.

Labor’s pre-election costs pointed to an $88m surplus in its first budget if it won power, but a raft of savings measures have helped bolster the bottom line by $145m.

Today’s final budget update for the current financial year will show a 2021-22 deficit of $1,733 billion, with Mullighan declaring that “by maintaining fiscal we can deliver on the Government’s election commitments while also ensuring discipline we can continue to deliver to the people of South Australia into the future”.

Savings measures include clawing back $19m by scrapping a pair of Marshall Government renewable energy subsidies, as revealed by InDaily yesterday.

The Greens have since criticized the move, with MLC Robert Simms declaring: “At this time of climate crisis, Labor should be supporting and enhancing programs like these that are designed to reduce carbon emissions.”

“Axing these programs might deliver the new Government some budget savings, but this decision will come at a huge cost to our environment,” he said.

Mullighan said in a statement: “The budget I will hand down today delivers on the government’s substantial agenda, while also maintaining our commitment to fiscal discipline.”

“We are not reaching into the pockets of South Australians through shock tax hikes,” he said.

“We are delivering on our promise – budget surpluses, no new taxes and no shock tax hikes.”

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