Treasury’s PEFO reveals $ 700 million spending increase since March budget

The ink on the March 29 federal budget is barely dry, but the weeks since have seen more than $ 700 million in extra spending plans announced.

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), prepared independently by the bureaucrats at Treasury and the Department of Finance, reveals that policy decisions taken since the budget have worsened the bottom line by $ 714 million over the four years to 2025-26.

It appears that this additional planned spending covers only announcements from the first two weeks of the election campaign, with the Treasurer and Finance Minister signing their PEFO declarations on April 12.

The final document was signed off by the secretaries of Treasury and Finance on April 19.

PEFO reveals that much of the extra money is earmarked for election commitments to local infrastructure projects, with an emphasis on sporting facilities and roads.

An extra $ 117 million has been pumped into the Community Development Grants program.

Some of the larger projects include $ 15 million each towards the Frankston Basketball Stadium and Macedon Ranges Sports Precinct redevelopments, $ 6.1 million for the Pioneer River Levee, $ 5 million for a new pavilion for the Boronia Hawks Football Netball Club and the same amount for Neerim South Aged Care and the Scheyville Veterans Wellbeing Center.

The Infrastructure Investment Program has had an additional $ 56 million in funding committed since the budget, including more than $ 21 million in funding for six road projects in Queensland, and $ 35 million for the Nicholson Road-Garden Street Grade Separation Project in Western Australia.

However, the reversal of a number of policy decisions taken but not yet announced has saved the budget around $ 365 million over the next four years.

These are decisions for which funding was set aside in previous budgets, but which were never publicly announced and have now been canned.

Leave a Comment