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Victorian State Budget 2023/24

COVID Debt Repayment Plan

When the pandemic hit Victoria, we acted quickly and decisively to safeguard the economy – and to prevent economic scarring that would have left a generation out of work.

Two medical staff using equipment in a hospital

Treasurer's Message

Acting on the advice of the Reserve Bank of Australia, we used the state budget to protect household budgets and businesses.

We had to borrow to pay for the tools we needed to confront the emergency. For things like hospital equipment, protective wear, testing centres, testing payments, vaccination centres and business support.

We had to borrow $31.5 billion to save jobs and save lives and to get through. We are not the only government in this position. But we’re the only government with a plan to manage it with our COVID Debt Repayment Plan.

Since the pandemic, our state has bounced back. Economic output per person is expected to be 5% higher in 2022-23 than it was in 2018-19, and unemployment is around its lowest level since the early 1970s. So now is the time to confront this situation squarely to repay the COVID debt that kept Victoria going during the pandemic.

We’ll make sure the repayment plan is structured in a way that’s reasonable and proportionate to ability to pay. The Government will also do its bit.

We know some did better out of the pandemic than others – and it is only fair that those that did well contribute to the repayment effort.

This will ensure we manage our finances responsibly – so we can keep investing in the health, education, cost of living relief, transport and infrastructure that matters to Victorians.

Tim Pallas
Treasurer of Victoria

Reviewed 21 May 2023

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