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Latest economic data grim for Victoria

The latest Victorian budget update paints a grim picture of Victoria’s finances.

Labor Treasurer Tim Pallas began delivering deficits in September last year but only now has admitted he has given up on chasing surpluses.

Victoria’s budget was in deficit well before this year’s bushfire and coronavirus pandemic with only two of the 13 weeks reported in this update being related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The third-quarter net result of a $773 million deficit is the worst in years.

This result is $2.3 billion worse than last year despite taxation revenue being up $262 million for the year to date.

Expenses in the budget are up $3.97 billion to March 31 and employee expenses are up 8.8 per cent for the quarter year-on-year despite Tim Pallas saying in January that employee expenses for the full year would be up 2.5 per cent.

Victoria’s unemployment rate has also risen from 5.2 per cent in March to 6.0 per cent in April and 127,100 Victorians lost their jobs in April

Comments attributable to Shadow Treasurer, Louise Staley:

“Victoria’s budget was in a terrible state before the pandemic hit and now Labor wants to borrow over $24 billion to paper over their economic mismanagement.

“Daniel Andrews can’t hide behind the coronavirus to cover up the parlous state he has allowed the state’s budget to collapse into.

“Victoria needs a jobs-led and business-led recovery from this pandemic, not more of Labor’s high debt, high taxes and reckless spending.”

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