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Treasurer expects virus to deliver a $7b hit to state economy


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“This budget will be extremely difficult due to circumstances beyond our control,” Mr Pallas will say in his speech.

“So this will need to be a smarter budget, doing more with less to keep delivering for all Victorians.

“This year, as ever, we’ll stick to our values, fiscally responsible, socially progressive.”

The Treasurer’s office would not be drawn on Tuesday on whether May’s state budget would be in surplus.

But Mr Pallas will tell CEDA on Wednesday that the Labor government intends to keep “delivering”.

“Our plan for this coming year, and the upcoming budget, is simple,” the Treasurer will say.

“We will keep delivering.

“To do this will require difficult decisions, guided by a focus on our priorities and the promises we made to the people of Victoria.

“Be in no doubt, right now, as Treasurer, the collective health and well-being of the Victorian community is my number one priority.”

Mr Pallas says he will also have to battle the effect of the real estate downturn which left the budget down $5.2 billion in stamp duty revenue over the next four years, despite the recent recovery in the housing market to pre-slump levels.

The government also expects lower GST payments from the Commonwealth this year, as government revenues across Australia plummet in the economic downturn.

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