Victoria spends its tax windfall

Capital and human resource spending is back in the first Victorian budget from Treasurer state Tim Pallas. Following windfalls in revenues the new Andrews government has found ways to spend it, keeping its promise to restore pay of critical state workers.

Surging GST, stamp duty, insurance and motor vehicle tax revenues has enabled the Andrews Victorian government to announce funding for $22 billion in new capital projects while continuing to deliver surplus over the next four years.

The first tranche of capital spending will be focused on train and tram stock and removing railway level crossings in metro Melbourne and regional Victoria.

The biggest single project is a recommitment to the $11 billion Melbourne Metro Rail Project — including a new rail tunnel under the CBD. The funding includes $1.5 billion for planning over four years to enable construction to commence in 2018.

Announcing the previous government’s 2.5% cap on expenditure growth was not able to deliver the services required, the Victorian Treasurer Tim Pallas (pictured) — handing down the 2015-16 State Victorian Budget on Tuesday — said expenditure growth would be maintained at 3% across the forward estimates.

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