Australian Treasurer Scott Morrison’s third budget has one eye on fiscal responsibility, with a prediction that the budget will be balanced by next financial year, and the other firmly focused on the looming federal election with the government still trailing Labor in the polls.
Politics is as much about good luck and good timing – “the times will suit me” another resilient former Treasurer, John Howard, famously said 32 years ago – as the prudent financial management federal Treasurers say they offer.
As economist Warren Hogan explains in his analysis of the budget for Business Insider “Treasury has been gifted an extra $8 billion of revenues this financial year that it had not planned on receiving”.
In total, Morrison has $26 billion in “unexpected revenues” to play with over the next three years, which, as Hogan explains, make up “the foundation stone of this budget and the personal income tax cuts the Government is promising”.
The impact is so dramatic that the Treasurer is now expecting a small budget surplus in 2019-2020, 12 months earlier than he predicted a year ago, finally delivering on the Coalition’s promise to get things back in the black.
It’s also handy war chest against Labor and the offer of tax cuts – small ones in lump sums for low to middle income earners now, bigger ones several years down the track to those in higher tax brackets, offer easy appeal to the electorate and a danger to Labor if it chooses to oppose them.
Bill Shorten will deliver his budget reply on Thursday.
In the meantime, here is a full round-up of Business Insider’s coverage of the 2018 federal budget.
- FEDERAL BUDGET 2018: What you need to know
- The full federal budget speech
- The key economic forecasts in the 2018 federal budget
- Scott Morrison’s plan for $140 billion in income tax cuts: here’s how it works
- The government is banking on optimistic wage growth forecasts to achieve its budget goals
- WARREN HOGAN: The numbers are solid, avoiding temptation of a pre-election splurge
- Standard and Poor’s still has a negative outlook on Australia’s AAA credit rating
- Moody’s flags wage growth risks in the federal budget
- Here are the Australian federal government’s new commodity price forecasts
- MAP: The government’s 10-year national infrastructure plan
- What the income tax cuts mean for pay packets
- How the budget is going to tackle Australia’s $50 billion black economy
- Where the revenue comes from and how taxpayer money is spent
- Iron ore is so huge for the Australian economy that a $10 price move shifts the budget position by $3.6 billion
- Here’s what 14 CEOs are saying about the 2018 federal budget
- Here’s what experts say about the budget boosts for aged care, rural health and medical research
- 7 programs that have been axed in the 2018 federal budget
- This economics professor says Morrison’s budget tax plan is another missed opportunity
- INFOGRAPHIC: The major initiatives in the 2018-19 federal budget
- Restoring coral and fighting crown of thorns starfish at the Great Barrier Reef
- Australians are finally getting Consumer Data Rights
- Australia has a $225 million plan to make GPS more accurate
- Here are some of the key tech and science projects getting funding in the federal budget
- The government is spending $294 million on increased airport security
- This is the government’s plan to help older Australian employees stay in the workforce
- The government is spending almost $50 million to commemorate the 250th anniversary of James Cook’s voyage to Australia
- The MH17 investigation in Ukraine has received a $50 million boost from the federal budget
- 32 interesting and surprising measures announced in the 2018 federal budget
- 11 funny reactions to the federal budget on social media
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