Here’s an interesting chart in light of the Federal Government’s
staggering
$13.6 billion cash surplus for 2004-05, which was confirmed by Peter
Costello at 11am on Friday in a brief Melbourne press conference called
at short notice that was scantily reported amid the grand final
excitement.

It tracks the net worth of the Federal public sector and shows that
despite this avalanche of cash, we’re still technically insolvent.
However, having inherited a negative net worth of about $65 billion and
a budget deficit of almost $10 billion from the Keating Government,
Cossie has certainly turned things around dramatically.

You can see how important T3 will be in the quest to achieve the
wonderful goal of the Feds being worth nothing by 2009-10. For some
reason, the Howard Government never talks about this negative net
worth, preferring to bang on about reducing $70 billion of Labor’s $96
billion debt.

Of course, this conveniently ignores the $15 billion blowout in
unfunded super liabilities to $90 billion over the same period, but
this is belatedly being addressed with the so-called Future Fund.

Commonwealth Government Net Worth

1996-97: -$74.35bn
1997-98: -$68.54bn
1998-99: -$76.15bn
1999-00: -$40.55bn
2000-01: -$43.30bn
2001-02: -$48.32bn
2002-03: -$53.25bn
2003-04: -$39.59bn
2004-05: -$31.98bn
2005-06: -$27.78bn
2006-07: -$20.42bn
2007-08: -$13.71bn
2008-09: -$5.92bn

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey

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