The next budget, which is expected to reveal a surplus, is scheduled to be handed down on 2 April and will come before the general election, the Prime Minister has announced.
Speaking at a media event in Canberra on Tuesday (27 November), Prime Minister Scott Morrison MP and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg MP revealed that the Coalition government would be tabling the sitting scheduling this week and handing down the budget on 2 April 2019.
While Mr Morrison said that there were “always options available to government to call the election anytime”, he added that it is “absolutely [government’s] intention to have the budget before the election and to deliver a surplus budget.”
During the joint press conference, the current Treasurer and former Treasurer emphasised the work the Coalition government had been taking in delivering a surplus, arguing that the opposition would have “trashed [the budget] in a heartbeat”.
Mr Morrison said: “Our plan for a stronger economy is working. That plan for a stronger economy is what delivers the essential services that Australians rely on. Without a stronger economy, you can’t make pledges about hospitals and schools and the national disability insurance scheme, on affordability medicines, Medicare, etc. Those promises are worthless if you cannot manage a stronger economy and our government has been overseeing the management of a strong economy.”
Noting that unemployment was holding steady at 5 per cent and that there was the strongest growth in jobs for young people in Australia’s economic recorded history, Mr Morrison said: “When we were elected in 2013, we said we would get rid of the carbon tax, and we did. We said we would stop the boats, and we did. And we said we would bring back the budget into balance, and we are.
“And what I’m here today to announce is before we go to the next election, we will be handing down a budget, and it will be a surplus budget.
“It will be a budget that is the product of the years of hard work of our government, of successive Treasurers and Prime Ministers who have ensured that we’ve stayed on track to deliver a balanced budget, a surplus budget, which is what we promised the Australian people we would do.”
He continued: “A stronger economy is not a prize you put on the shelf and admire, a stronger economy is how we deliver on the infrastructure, the services, the hospitals, the schools, the affordable medicines - that is how we do it.”
In conclusion, the Prime Minister said: “We’ve been delivering on our commitment as a government. We’ve been getting things done. We can be trusted to run Australia’s budget and trusted to oversee a growing economy. We’ve been investing in more services - with record investments in hospitals, in schools, in disabilities, making life-changing decisions for Australians all around the country. All of that is made possible by ensuring that we remain focused on a stronger economy, and we are doing it without increasing taxes.”
Given this, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said that there would be a Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook update (MYEFO) on 17 December.
Adding that Australia is only one of only 10 countries in the world to have a AAA credit rating from the three leading agencies, Treasurer Frydenberg added: “The Australian economy is growing. The Australian economy is strong. The Australian economy is performing well. That’s the view of the Reserve Bank of Australia, that is the view of the International Monetary Fund, that is the view of the OECD.
“We are growing at 3.4 per cent through the year, the fastest rate of growth since the height of the mining boom. We have created over 1 million new jobs, and since we last met, unemployment has stabilised at 5 per cent. At the same time, wages have started to grow, with the biggest jump in wages in three years with the Reserve Bank of Australia saying that is a trend that will continue.”
He continued: “[T]he Australian economy is not an end in itself - it is only a means to an end. Which is to support Australians in every corner of our great country…
“The Australian economy is heading in the right direction and our economic plan is working,” he said.
Annie Kane is the editor of The Adviser and Mortgage Business.
As well as writing about the Australian broking industry, the mortgage market, financial regulation, fintechs and the wider lending landscape – Annie is also the host of the Elite Broker and In Focus podcasts and The Adviser Live webcasts.
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