Victoria’s budget surplus windfall

An unexpected surge in tax revenue has helped the Victorian budget to a $1.365 billion surplus for 2006-07.

Budget documents released yesterday by Victorian Treasurer John Lenders revealed the surplus was $743 million more than had been predicted in May.

A one-off $390 million contribution from WorkCover and the Victorian TAC was the single biggest reason for the larger than expected surplus. The Victorian Workplace Authority raked in a $1.17 billion profit in 2006-07.

Revenue from stamp duty, land tax and payroll tax was also stronger than predicted, sparking criticism that the Government should return more money to the economy through tax cuts.

But Lenders was yesterday keen to point out the infrastructure and transport spending was possible because of the budget surplus, including record infrastructure spending of $3.3 billion for 2006-07.

Victorian Premier John Brumby yesterday announced $272 million for eight new six-carriage trains on top of the 10 already announced.

The budget documents show the Victorian economy is expected to grow at 3.25% over the next financial year.

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