Back office government agencies, including the departments of both the treasurer and the premier, will do the heavy lifting to secure budget savings, the new South Australian government says.
Ahead of next week's state budget, Treasurer Stephen Mullighan maintained Labor's previous pledge to isolate frontline agencies, including health, education and police, from budget cuts.
He also remained committed to delivering all the government's election promises, including major investments in health to hire more doctors, nurses and paramedics.
"If we're putting more money into frontline services then we've got to find room for that spending in other areas of government," Mr Mullighan told reporters on Thursday.
"This is not easy, it's not without some pain for some agencies but it's necessary.
"We don't have endless money to call on."
The government said it would establish a $100 million Economic Recovery Fund to support business development and grow jobs.
The fund will support several rounds of grants over the next four years.
It will also allow the government to make strategic investments to help bring national and international companies to SA.
"The Economic Recovery Fund will provide an opportunity for SA-based businesses seeking to create jobs, while also supporting development opportunities in our state," Premier Peter Malinauskas said.
"We're backing SA businesses to help drive our state's economic recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic."
The government will also spend an extra $4.2 million to establish InvestSA, which will be charged with selling South Australia's credentials nationally and internationally.
Mr Mullighan will hand down the new Labor government's first budget on June 2.
He indicated it would begin the process of transitioning away from the higher levels of spending required during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.
"We simply cannot afford to continue racking up debt," the treasurer said.
"That comes at a real cost to the state budget, at a real cost to the community because every dollar spent on interest payments on that debt is one less dollar we've got available."
The Liberal opposition said easing cost of living pressures must be a priority in the budget.
"The former Liberal government worked hard to deliver hundreds of dollars in savings for household electricity bills and water bills a year and South Australians were $1092 better off a year," shadow treasurer Matt Cowdrey said.
"We're calling on Stephen Mullighan to guarantee the crucial reduced costs achieved by the former Liberal government will continue."
Australian Associated Press
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