Following a tumultuous six months since the Federal Budget was handed down, including setbacks such as a stubborn and fickle senate as well as the unforseen plunging of the price of iron ore, Federal treasurer Joe Hockey has delivered a Mid-Year Economic and Financial Outlook report that includes a forecasted budget deficit that’s blown out by some $10billion, with overall surplus now not expected until 2019-2020 – or in the third term of a Coalition Government.
Following the report, which was handed down today, the projected budget deficit for this financial year will now clock in at $40.4billion, up from the previous projection of $29.8billion handed down in May, when Hockey delivered his highly controversial Budget.
This means that future projections have undergone adjustment, with next financial year’s deficit set to clock in at $31.2billion (1.9 percent of national GDP) and in the final year of current budget projections, where once a reduced deficit of $2.8billion was forecast, now a much bigger load of $11.5billion will remain shouldered by the public.
Among other measures announced by Hockey and the Treasury today, another $3.7billion will be cut from Foreign Aid to help fund additional spending in National Security.
Hockey remained cautiously optimistic about the new figures, stating “There is more work to be done but we are on the right track. Rather than never-ending deficits, the budget is on track for a credible surplus. We are being cautious but realistic in relation to our underlying assumptions. There’s no massaging the numbers here, none at all.“
Meanwhile, Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen was on the attack.
“The surplus has been put off to the never never. Clearly that is not what the Government promised. The Government promised a return to surplus and they made that the centrepiece of their election campaign.“
Regardless, it’s clear that Australia’s economy is yet to begin pulling itself out of its hole – regardless of the measures put in place by an austerity-focused Coalition Government. If the night is darkest before the dawn, we’re still hours away from midnight.
Photo: Stefan Postles via Getty Images.
via ABC News.