WA boasts declining debt-to-revenue ratio with ‘AA+’ rating

By Melissa Coade

March 24, 2022

Mark McGowan
Mark McGowan (AAP Image/Richard Wainwright)

Credit ratings agency S&P Global Ratings has confirmed Western Australia’s state economy as outperforming domestic and global peers with a ‘world-leading fiscal balance’ during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

S&P Global published a bi-annual update for WA this week, affirming a positive outlook for the state and a ‘strong’ overall fiscal balance. The government’s financial management of the state was assessed as ‘very strong’, noting Labor’s ‘track record of robust control’.

WA premier Mark McGowan said he was using the strong financial position of the state to make record investments in the health and social housing systems. More than $10.6 billion was used to deliver WA’s COVID-19 pandemic measures and fund things like free RATs for households, and there was a $1.7 billion business support program.

“Western Australia’s safe management of the pandemic is providing a soft landing out of the pandemic and delivering one of the best sets of books in the world,” he said in a statement. 

“After years of ratings downgrades under the previous Liberal National government, my government has put the finances back on a strong footing, enabling us to provide stability for Western Australians.”

The state’s debt-to-revenue ratio was expected to continue to decline over the coming years, S&P Global determined, in contrast to the rising debt of other economies that were the consequence of ‘prolonged lockdowns that necessitated extensive fiscal outlays’.

McGowan flagged that ahead of the state budget, expected to be delivered around May this year, the good financial management would continue. 

“In the lead up to the state budget, we’ll continue to keep our finances strong while helping Western Australians by keeping cost-of-living pressures as low as possible and the economy firing to support local jobs,” he said. 


READ MORE:

Australian GDP grows in December quarter, WA boasts ‘strongest’ economy during COVID pandemic

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