“Our ratings on ACT reflect its excellent financial management”

The ACT’s economic management received another strong endorsement, with international credit rating agency Standard and Poor’s (S&P) retaining the highest possible government credit rating of the ACT at ‘AAA’ ratings / A-1 + ” confirmed; Negative outlook.

S&P’s update says they view ACT’s financial management in a positive light.

The report states that “our ratings on ACT reflect its excellent financial management; a very high-income economy, closely linked to a stable public sector; and exceptional liquidity.

According to S&P, “ACT’s economic fundamentals remain very strong. The territory has a very high-income economy. The territory historically has Australia’s most resilient labor market, with an unemployment rate 1-2 percentage points lower than the national average over the past five years. The outlook for economic growth is solid. We view ACT’s financial management positively. The territory has a professional and independent civil service, and prudent debt management. The ACT is halfway through a 20-year program to reform its tax system. This includes phasing out narrow-based transaction taxes, such as transfer duties, in favor of a broad-based property tax. These reforms can help reduce fiscal volatility. ACT is less dependent than its domestic counterparts on transfer duties, which tend to be sensitive to real estate market volumes and prices. This is due to its tax reform program and because, unlike the Australian states, the ACT also operates as a municipal government and levies general property rates. The territory also has a credible plan to eliminate its unfunded superannuation liability over time through continued credits and investment income in its Superannuation Provision Account.

At the worst of the pandemic, we did exactly what we set out to do: protect local jobs and keep our city growing. And now our job is to build the future of Canberra.

Our infrastructure pipeline will create local jobs, it will provide the infrastructure our growing city needs. It includes the expansion of the Canberra Hospital, the extension of the light rail and the redevelopment of the Canberra Theatre. The government has $490 million for road improvements in southern Canberra alone, including the construction of the Molonglo River Bridge. Meanwhile, we are also building the infrastructure that will ensure Canberra remains one of the most livable cities in the world – great local schools, new healthcare facilities in our suburbs and community sports infrastructure.

With more people choosing to live in Canberra, the ACT government will also be looking to increase our housing supply. The government plans an increase of around 30,000 homes in the ACT over the next five years, increasing the total supply of housing in Canberra from around 185,000 homes to around 215,000 homes.

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Geraldine L. Melton