Thursday, 22 September 2016
The report also found salaries across the general government sector grew by just 2.6 per cent in 2015-16 - the lowest increase in 17 years. It also highlighted that total public sector net debt came in $513 million lower than the 2016-17 Budget estimate, and a substantial $3.6 billion lower than the original 2015-16 Budget forecast, at $27.3 billion for 2015-16.
Dr Nahan said the results were achieved in the face of unprecedented revenue downturns over the past two financial years. In 2015-16, these included:
The general government sector recorded an operating deficit of $2 billion in 2015-16, $688 million lower than the original 2015-16 Budget deficit projection and in line with the 2016-17 Budget estimate.
"General government spending grew by a low 2.4 per cent in 2015-16 - the second lowest rate of expenses growth in 21 years following the result of just 2.2 per cent in 2014-15," Dr Nahan said.
"Those outcomes required substantial restraint and commitment, particularly when compared with the average annual expense growth over the preceding decade of 7.7 per cent.
"These results show the impact of successive measures implemented to improve the efficiency of the public sector workforce, including the temporary recruitment freeze announced in the 2015-16 Mid-year Review, voluntary separation programs, the Workforce Renewal Policy, leave liability management and the Government's Public Sector Wages Policy.
"The State Government has worked hard to keep this collapse in revenue away from households and businesses, while continuing to provide the high quality services expected by West Australians.
"The increase in borrowings is required to fund essential infrastructure through the Asset Investment Program and was pushed higher in 2015-16 by the revenue downturn. This highlights the importance of keeping a tight rein on spending and pushing ahead with the Government's asset sales program."