Wondering what the ACT budget means for you? Here are the five key takeaways – Michmutters

Wondering what the ACT budget means for you? Here are the five key takeaways

The ACT government has today released its 2022-23 budget, setting out its spending for the coming year.

There are few surprises enclosed in the documents, with major announcements for health and housing already made in the past week.

But what the papers do reveal is an ACT economy that is thriving, despite outside forces continuing to threaten Canberrans’ hip pockets.

1. Things are better than we thought

First, the good news: the territory is faring better than expected.

In October last year, ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr delivered an economic update. An outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 had forced a lengthy lockdown, leading to a $951.5 million deficit.

But, according to the budget papers released today, that position has improved, with the deficit now sitting at $580.4 million.

“The ACT economy has outperformed expectations, demonstrating resilience and flexibility in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and other adverse global and national events,” the budget papers state.

Today, Mr Barr, who is also the ACT’s Treasurer, credited that improved economic position largely to a surging population.

“Revenue has driven that improved situation, which is largely a reflection of the territory’s increased population,” he said.

A main street lined with trees and greenery.
The ACT economy’s recovery from the effects of lockdowns has been stronger than expected.(ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

But it’s not all good news — that boom in people also has a downside.

“The fact that our population has grown by nearly 90,000 people demonstrates that people want to live in Canberra,” Mr Barr said.

“And that explains why we have seen such strong demand for housing, such strong enrollments in our schools and pressure on our health system.”

And it’s that growth and demand that has guided much of the budget spending announced today.

2. Costs are going up, but the government says we can afford it

Close-up of Australian currency on leather handbag with keys and face mask to the right
Some costs are expected to increase, including parking fees and gas bills.(ABC Everyday: Fiona Purcell)

Over the past two years, many costs have been mitigated or put on pause by the government to ease financial pressures brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

But those measures are gradually ending.

A pause on an increase to government paid parking is set to end, which means Canberrans will notice a jump in prices.

Home owners will also notice an increase in household rates of 3.75 per cent on average.

For homes, that means $111 more per year and, for units, an extra $67.


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