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This year’s federal budget has fallen at an interesting time. So close to a federal election it was anticipated that the government would leverage the budget announcements to appeal to the electorate.
However, in context of the concerns about accelerating inflation it would be imprudent to maintain the expenditure levels of the previous two years. Rather than a customary ‘pre-election budget’, the government is forced to strike a balance between ensuring adequate spending to sustain an economic recovery as pandemic supports are withdrawn, while also responding to community concerns over the rising cost-of-living.
The Australian economy has come a long way since the onset of the pandemic in 2020. During that time, we have seen a budget with crisis level spending followed by a budget focused on supporting Australia’s recovery. Funding commitments made over the last two years will see expenditure remain high for several years to come and continue to provide economic support. Stronger than expected revenues were generated over the past year, allowing the Government to focus on stabilising gross debt as a proportion of the economy while still making substantial investments in infrastructure, skills, the digital economy and energy.
Navigating the transition from the expansionary fiscal policies enacted in response to the pandemic to a focus on repairing the nation’s balance sheet will be a task for the next parliament.
Find out more about what additional support has been announced in the Federal budget for: