Qld Treasurer confirms Govt’s immense fiscal challenge with royalties write down of $3 billion

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I wasn’t surprised when Treasurer Curtis Pitt today revealed there would be a write down in mining royalties of $3 billion over the Budget forward estimates (i.e. 2015-16 to 2018-19), due to both lower prices and volumes than previously forecast (see this Courier-Mail report). As John McCarthy of the Courier-Mail acknowledged in his tweet reproduced above, I had previously forecast a major royalties write down (see Courier-Mail story on Qld Govt’s fiscal challenges). As I’ve commented many times before, the Government faces a big (if not impossible) challenge in sticking to the fiscal strategy it announced at election time, which included a commitment to paying down debt without asset leases, albeit at a slower rate than the previous Government had committed to (e.g. listen to my ABC radio interview on the first day of the new Parliament).

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