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tas news 7sd pageheader 2019

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Budget not great, but better than first feared

Money Aust

Treasury Department's latest Economic and Fiscal Update report paints a somewhat rosier picture of Tasmania than many were expecting.

The budget deficit was $273 million for 2019-20, a far cry from the $716 million black hole predicted in May.

However, it notes continuing uncertainty in the numbers, given the possibility of another outbreak here and the speed with which Victoria recovers from its devastating second wave of COVID-19. 

"We are in a better position, but we are not in a good position," Premier Peter Gutwein said.

The deficit is expect to rise to over $1 billion this financial year, also a better figure than originally forecast.

Premier Gutwein says there are signs of life returning to the economy.

"There will obviously be difficulties in terms of those businesses that are impacted as a result of the tourism and hospitality slow-down and the fact that borders remain closed, as well as the lack of international visitors into the country, but Tasmanians are approaching life in a cautiously optimistic way. They are spending in their own communities and that will help our underlying budget position"

The report warns a Victoria-style second lockdown would ravage the state's economy.