Is the fiscal position sustainable? Yes, but only just – and with primary balance forecasts that are somewhat optimistic – leaving the framework open to deterioration on shocks.
I hope you are right, Roy. What worries me is the the passive approach the NT takes to budgeting. Instead of trying to prioritise according to policy and efficacy considerations, it simply top-slices every department and leaves them to prioritise internally. The effect this inevitably has (after the wage increase in particular) is that the labour intensive functions of government, which are very often the public facing departments, will suffer much more from loss of capacity. Public services will deteriorate (further) and damaged organisations wont be fixed. The top-slice approach is lazy and cowardly, and means that difficult choices are not made with national priorities in mind.