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Courtney Houssos (Facebook/Courtney Houssos)

The New South Wales Government will change the state budget to take account of citizens’ wellbeing in addition to traditional economic indicators such as growth, employment and deficits. Source: Sydney Morning Herald.

Finance Minister Courtney Houssos says future NSW budgets will include a performance and wellbeing framework that aims to drive “positive social outcomes” and improve transparency.

A set of performance and wellbeing indicators will be published with the next budget in June.

“This is a significant step for our state budget,” Ms Houssos said. “We want this to be a separate budget paper and to draw the public’s attention to it.”

Governments in several wealthy nations have already developed ways to measure the wellbeing of their citizens amid concerns that traditional economic statistics do not provide a sufficiently detailed picture of the living conditions that ordinary people experience.

The Herald-Lateral Economics Index of Australian Wellbeing, commissioned by this masthead and published between 2011 and 2022, showed improvements to the collective wellbeing of Australians lagged economic growth during the decade to 2022.

Ms Houssos said the performance and wellbeing framework would apply across all state services and “embed wellbeing considerations in advice to government.”

It will measure crucial non-economic outcomes such as health, longevity and educational attainment and will probably include impact indicators such as the percentage of patients starting treatment on time in the emergency departments.

Ms Houssos said measuring improvements in schooling standards was an example of how the framework would help.

The wellbeing push in NSW will work alongside the Measuring What Matters framework introduced by the federal Labor government last July. It uses 50 indicators to evaluate progress towards a “more healthy, secure, sustainable, cohesive and prosperous Australia.”


NSW budgets to measure wellbeing, not just dollars and cents (By Matt Wade, Sydney Morning Herald)