The Australian federal budget will be released on May 3, a week earlier than anticipated.
Prime minister Malcolm Turnbull made the announcement this morning, along with the threat that a double dissolution election would be held should the Senate fail to pass legislation the government deems critical to its political agenda, including the return of the industry watchdog, the Australia Building and Construction Commission (ABCC).
While Turnbull was outlining his political strategy in Canberra, treasurer Scott Morrison discussed the new budget timeline at a fintech event at Stone & Chalk in Sydney.
Having found out about the new date at a cabinet meeting at 10am, Morrison said his first federal Budget will “of course” still be delivered on time and on target.
“The budget will be designed to ensure we are backing in jobs and growth by backing in the investment,” he said.
“Whether it’s in the construction sector, which is why we have such a strong view about dealing with the ABCC to bring the rule of law back more strongly into the construction sector, you need to have investment to drive the transition of our economy.”
But it was clear he didn’t have a say in the new date.
“It’s my job to deliver the Budget, it’s his (Turbull’s) job to decide on what day it’s delivered,” he said.
After two difficult Coalition budgets under his predecessor, Joe Hockey, Morrison says he’s ready to hand down the nation’s financial plan for the year ahead.
“I’m looking forward to it with great excitement,” he told Business Insider.
“This budget is incredibly important at this point in time. It’s important because we have to continue to successfully manage the transition in our economy.”
A spate of recent announcements backing the PM’s innovation statement, including today’s support for the fintech industry, appear to lay out the path for both the Budget and the government’s re-election strategy, whether it heads to the polls in July, August or September.
“It’s going to be a night when Australians once again see this is as a government focused on jobs and growth, a government focusing on supporting the positive transition taking place in our economy,” Morrison said.
“We’re not intimidated by it, we’re not intimidated by the world’s circumstance, we’re growing and generating jobs in spite of that.”