- Net debt down by $5.1 billion in the first half of 2021-22
- Lowest debt level in almost six years, more than $15 billion lower than projected
- WA's finances remain strong due to safe and sensible management of COVID-19
- Infrastructure spending $795 million higher at $3.3 billion in the first half of 2021-22
The December 2021 Quarterly Financial Report released today highlights that the McGowan Government's safe and sensible management of COVID-19 has delivered strong results for Western Australia's economy and finances throughout 2021.
Total public sector net debt fell to $28.4 billion by the end of 2021, $5.1 billion lower than at the start of this financial year.
This is the lowest level of debt in almost six years and now more than $15 billion lower than the levels projected when the McGowan Government came to office.
WA also recorded a $4.8 billion surplus for the six months to December 31, 2021. This largely reflects the timing of revenue collections, particularly receipt of the $2.1 billion GST floor payment, and stronger economic conditions, and is partly offset by increased expenditure.
The continued strength of WA's economy has driven larger tax collections, particularly due to the strong labour market, buoyant property market, and higher vehicle licences and insurance duties, with taxation revenue up $844 million.
The stronger revenue outcome also included higher GST grants, with growth in the national GST pool.
Royalty collections were $464 million higher due to elevated iron ore prices and the continued operation of the mining industry throughout the pandemic.
The McGowan Government's commitment to recruit more frontline staff for health, education and police, and continued investment in WA health services saw expenditure $879 million higher than the same period in 2020.
The McGowan Government's infrastructure spend totalled $3.3 billion for the six months to December 31, 2021, more than 30 per cent or $795 million higher compared to the same period in 2020.
The December 2021 Quarterly Financial Results Report is available from the Department of Treasury website at https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-treasury
Comments attributed to Premier Mark McGowan:
"Western Australia's strong economic performance has been underpinned by our safe management of COVID-19.
"By keeping WA largely COVID-19 free throughout 2021 while we drove up vaccination rates, we have boosted business confidence and had the best economic conditions in the country.
"While delivering $10 billion in COVID-19 response measures, we've been able to drive down net debt to be $15 billion lower than projected when we came to Government.
"While debt levels in other States is increasing rapidly, exacerbated by long lockdowns due to COVID-19, we have sought to minimise the public health impacts and economic disruption of the virus.
"Our strong financial position is assisting us with our transition to living with COVID-19, providing us the financial capacity to provide support where needed.
"Since December, more than $350 million has been announced in support to Western Australian businesses, taking the total support provided since the beginning of the pandemic to $1.6 billion."
Minister's office - 6552 5200