Budget to cut debt to $50m: Gutwein

The state government has announced tomorrow's state budget will cut Tasmania's net debt from $400 million to $50 million over the forward estimates.

Treasurer Peter Gutwein told parliament this morning that the budget would not be a 'slash-and-burn' budget, but would slash the state's debt.

A budget risk report released in April revealed the state's cumulative deficit hit $1.1 billion over the four-year budget period, and a doubling of forecast net debt to $400 million by 2017.

But Mr Gutwein announced in question time this morning that it would be reduced down to about $50 million.

Taxi rides returned to the spot light, with Opposition Leader Bryan Green telling Parliament that State Growth Minister Matthew Groom spent $152 on a luxury taxi for an eight minute fare he never took.

''Michael Ferguson has set a precedent by belatedly repaying his four-month old $776 taxi fare and Matthew Groom should now do the same,'' Mr Green said.

An RTI document showed Mr Groom ordered a taxi from Sandy Bay to the Botanical Gardens in Hobart but cancelled the ride.

Premier Will Hodgman said the government had already saved $27,000 by reducing the number of ministerial drivers. 


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