Deficit budget the ‘responsible choice’
Cairns Regional Council has produced a deficit budget in order to restrict the rate yield increase to just 3.4 per cent and minimise impact on the community.
An operating deficit of $4.8 million will allow Council to meet community needs without a large increase in rates.
“This outcome means we can still deliver the quality of service people expect, without putting considerable upward pressure on rates,” Mayor Val Schier said.
“While significant cutbacks have been made within all departments, costs keep increasing – it costs more to do the same job now than it did 12 months ago.
“Balancing high unemployment and struggling businesses against a need to keep our programs on track, provide services that the community wants, and to plan for the future, Council decided that a deficit budget was the responsible choice.
“We are confident that this year’s deficit can be overturned in the next couple of years, with the 10-year outlook taking us into a significant surplus.”
Forward projections predict Council will move back toward a balanced budged for 2013-14 and a surplus the following year.
The deficit of 1.6 per cent of the operating revenue is within the Queensland Treasury Corporation’s recommended tolerance for deficit budgets.