Queensland budget 2016: Treasurer Curtis Pitt defends $4 billion super raid
Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt has defended taking $4 billion from the public servants' superannuation fund in yesterday's budget, against initial advice from the treasury.
$4 billion in surplus super for infrastructure and debt reduction
Record $15.3B health budget
Record $12.9B education budget
Capital works $10.7B includes $50 million for Brisbane Cross River Rail
Law and order $2.1 billion
$100 million to create 8,000 regional jobs
$4.4B billion for roads, $400 million for 2nd Toowoomba range crossing
$21.7 million for Great Barrier Reef protection
Over the next two years, $4 billion of the fund's surplus will be used to pay down debt and fund infrastructure.
In June 2015, the State Actuary recommended Mr Pitt only withdraw a maximum of $2 billion, documents tabled in parliament on Tuesday said.
Under-Treasurer Jim Murphy asked the State Actuary to assess the risks involved with taking $6 billion instead, wanting to keep the fund's surplus, which stands at $10 billion, at a minimum.
In May this year, the State Actuary then revised that figure to $5 billion, which would still enable the state to maintain Australian Prudential Regulation Authority standards.
Despite the upward quote, there were still risks involved.
Taking $4 billion risked that there would be a 19 per cent chance the super fund would go into deficit by 2020, the documents said.
Mr Pitt defended his actions, saying the fund was $10 billion in surplus.
"This fund is in no danger of disappearing, and of course his advice is if it does significantly drop we would need to consider making other contributions," he told 612 ABC Brisbane.
"I understand that there is going to be a piece of political conjecture."
Mr Pitt was confident there will not be an issue.
"Our liability is to pay people when they leave the scheme," he said.
"What we have is an offset to a liability.
"We have significant amounts available, this is actually surplus to the amount that is required right now to pay out everyone, which is $24 billion, we have $34b.
"We are making best use of our assets, including our cash assets.
"I understand that there is going to be a piece of political conjecture.
"The important this is here, why have we done this?
"We are making best use of all of our cash assets.
"We want to maintain our debt profile, which is lower than anything we saw in the previous government."
Source: ABC News