The federal government last night handed down a $47 billion budget which will bring the current accounts into a record deficit of $57.6 billion but position Australia to “capitalise on the global recovery when it comes”.
The 2009-10 budget was “forged in the fire of the most challenging economic conditions since the great depression”, treasurer Wayne Swan said in his budget speech last night, but Australians would be too “strong”, “resilient” and “united” to be overwhelmed by the crisis.
As part of the budget’s robust spending plans Mr Swan announced $22 billion in infrastructure spend to support job creation and economic growth.
The stimulus effects of the budget would boost GDP by ¾ of a per cent in 2009-10 – when the economy will be at its weakest, Mr Swan said.
“Importantly, we face this challenge in a much stronger position than other countries,” Mr Swan commented.
“Our financial system is among the strongest in the world, our public finances are among the strongest in the developed world, and our early and decisive action to support jobs and growth is working — protecting Australians from the pain of an even worse domestic downturn.”
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