Recent budget announcements by Federal and Victorian Governments have had significant implications for government ICT sales projections. It is likely the Queensland budget will no exception.
In the lead-up to the Queensland budget Premier Anna Bligh, has already announced a raft of savings measures to deal with the current economic downturn, including:
- Privatisation of a collection of public assets, worth an estimated $15 billion
- Cancelling the generous 8.3 cents a litre Queensland fuel subsidy telling parliament it will cease as of 1 July, saving the state $675 million a year
Premier Bligh pledged that all funds raised will contribute towards reducing debt and funding new infrastructure, claiming that these existing assets should no longer be a government responsibility.
In an interview with ABC Radio, Bligh indicated that financial advisors will participate in the privatisation process. This will ensure the most appropriate structure for asset sale. Alternatively floats or long-term leases might be an option in some cases.
"Confronted with economic challenges of that magnitude it’s critical we hold our nerve and along with most governments in the world we have chosen to stimulate our economy in the short term” says Bligh in a press release issued earlier this month.
The first budget after an election is always a time to cut and prune, all the more with the impact of the recession, which has created a $14 billion hole in the Queensland State finances.
ICT should be seen as a tool of efficiency and productivity. It will be interesting to see if the new Government sees it this way, and makes the decision to invest to save.