The Morrison Government has tabled its budget for the 2022-23 financial year. As the nation emerges from two years of lockdowns and border closures, with less than two months until a federal election, this budget seems to be focused upon getting the government re-elected, rather than addressing the challenges of public health, stagnant wages and sustainability facing Australia.
This failure is all the more regrettable given the enormous discretionary fiscal resources which the government has at its disposal: the budget projects $133 billion in extra tax revenues over the next five years, compared to its MYEFO projections just three months ago, thanks to strong economic growth and rising nominal GDP. But instead of ploughing those revenues into reforming human services (like health, aged care, early child education, or disability services), undertaking a genuine policy to revitalise domestic manufacturing, or accelerating the energy transition, the government has prioritised one-time cash handouts to entice voters in the upcoming election.
In this briefing paper, the Centre for Future Work's team of economists unpacks the budget, considers its effects and suggests alternatives.