Federal Budget to Be a ‘Titanic Effort’: Aussie PM

Federal Budget to Be a ‘Titanic Effort’: Aussie PM
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Treasurer Josh Frydenberg arrive in the House of Representatives at Parliament House in Canberra, Australia on May 13, 2020. (Sam Mooy/Getty Images)

The federal budget will be “unprecedented” in Australia’s history as the federal government does some “very heavy lifting” to ensure the economy can emerge successfully from the COVID-19 economic crisis, Prime Minister Scott Morrison says.

Morrison says the government will continue to step up with targeted spending to help increase the number of jobs.

“It’s going to be a great budget. It’s going to be a budget that’s going to have the most unprecedented investment in Australia’s future,” the PM told reporters in Adelaide on Sept 26.

“It will be a titanic effort that we’re involved in to ensure that this country can get back on the growth path that we want to be on.

“That means we’re going to have to do some very heavy lifting in this budget and that comes at a significant cost.”

The government on Friday released the final budget outcome for 2019/20, which revealed the coronavirus pandemic and deepest recession since the 1930s had turned a forecast $5 billion surplus into an $85.3 billion deficit.

It was also in stark contrast with the midyear economic review released in December as the government pumped billions of dollars of support into the economy and tax revenues dived.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Australia had approached the global pandemic from a position of economic strength.

“Yes, the hole in the Australian economy is significant. Yes, the road back will be long, bumpy and hard,” he told reporters in Canberra on Friday.

“But we have performed so much better than nearly every other nation in the world.”

The 2020/21 budget will be delivered on October 6 and Morrison said he, the treasurer and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann had been over every dollar to ensure all the government’s spending was “targeted” and “proportionate”.

“It’s designed to ensure Australia comes out of the COVID-19 recession with thousands, indeed millions of jobs,” the prime minister said.

Tim Dornin in Adelaide