Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Hon Ben Wyatt LLB MSc MLA

Treasurer; Minister for Finance; Energy; Aboriginal Affairs

    Credit ratings agency confirm McGowan Government’s plan is working

    25/10/2018 1:50 PM
     
    • Western Australia's credit rating with S&P Global now an improved AA+ stable
    • WA's credit rating has sat on 'AA+ negative outlook' since July 2015
    • S&P Global highlight the McGowan Government's 'strong financial management' and expenditure control in their decision 

    Treasurer Ben Wyatt has today welcomed the improvement in Western Australia's credit rating, saying it is a significant achievement which is good news for every Western Australian.

     

    The move by S&P Global to improve WA from AA+ negative outlook to AA+ stable stops the run of negative credit ratings assessments stretching from October 2012, when the Liberal National Government first lost the State's hard-earned triple-A credit rating.

     

    The State had been placed on AA+ negative outlook by S&P Global since July 2015.

     

    This revision proves that the McGowan Labor Government's plan for Budget repair is working.

     

    S&P attributed the ratings improvement to the McGowan Labor Government's 'tight control of recurrent expenses', the stabilisation of the State's debt burden, the hard-fought GST fix and an improved State economy leading to higher own-source revenue.

     

    Low expense growth has been the cornerstone of the McGowan Government's Budget repair plan.  Actual expense growth of just 1.9 per cent in 2017-18, as reported in the Annual Report on State Finances, represents the lowest in more than 20 years.

     

    The entire State is now benefiting from that plan. The improvement in the State's credit rating outlook will generate tens of millions of dollars in saved interest payments as the market reacts to the news over time.

     

    Comments attributed to Treasurer Ben Wyatt: 

     

    "This welcome news proves the McGowan Labor Government's plan of responsible financial management is working.

     

    "We have put the economy back on the right track - and this decision alone will save tens of millions of dollars in lower interest payments.

     

    "Given the record deficits and debt burden we were left, this is a tremendous boost for every Western Australian.

     

    "This is money which can then be spent actually repaying the Liberal-National debt or delivering essential services to Western Australians.

     

    "The Annual Report on State Finances for 2017-18, the first full year of the McGowan Labor Government, reported actual underlying expense growth of just 0.2 per cent.

     

    "S&P have made it clear that the improvement in the credit rating outlook has been driven by this Government's willingness to control expense growth.

     

    "Through controlling expense growth, we have put Western Australia in a position where we can benefit from revenue growth.

     

    "The improvement also recognises the work done by Western Australian businesses and families to help repay the mess left by the previous government.

     

    "The job is not done. The McGowan Labor Government will continue to take a responsible approach to the State's finances to fix the mess we inherited."

     

    Treasurer's office - 6552 5900