“Tonight, I announce that the Budget is back in the black, and Australia is back on track…paying its own way.”
“Australia is stronger than when we came to Government six years ago. Growth is higher. Unemployment is lower. There are fewer people on welfare. There are a record number of Australians with a job. School and hospital funding are at record levels.”
“So, tonight, I am pleased to announce a Budget surplus of $7.1 billion” (albeit a forecast surplus for 2019-20) …”a $55-billion turnaround on the deficit we inherited six years ago” … and “A total of $45 billion of surpluses over the next four years.”
So said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, as he handed down his first Federal Budget on 2 April 2019, a Budget he said intended to focus on restoring the nation’s finances, create new jobs with a strong skills and infrastructure agenda, and guarantee schools, hospitals and aged care. And, as he frequently emphasised “all done without increasing taxes”.
With the announcement that the Federal Budget will be unveiled early, in April 2019 and deliver a federal surplus, can we assume that the economy is performing as well as the federal government would have us believe?
Announced in the midst of a tough week politically, Prime Minister Scott Morrison is hoping that the announcement of the surplus budget will alleviate some of the pressure on the Liberal party. While a Federal surplus budget looks great at face value and appears to show the ‘big picture’ of the economy, the influence of individual states and their budgets cannot be ignored.
Since the Australian economy exists as a common market between all 8 territories and states, any federal announcement, that focuses solely on the federal economy has the potential to mislead us and be conveniently used to shift our attention in times of political stress.
“There is a lot to gain and much to lose, we can’t ease off”.
“…it’s not a spend…this is their money…this is Australians keeping more of what they have earned.”
So said Treasurer Scott Morrison as he handed down his third Federal budget on 8 May 2018. The government had five aims, he continued:
- Tax relief for individual Australians
- Keep backing business to invest and create more jobs
- Guarantee essential services
- Keep Australians safe with new investments to ‘secure our borders’
- Ensure the government continues to live within its means