Last night (9 May 2017) the Treasurer, Mr Scott Morrison, handed down the 2017-18 Federal Budget.
The cash budget deficit is estimated to be $29.4bn for 2017-18 (up from $26.1bn as estimated in May 2016) representing around 2.2% of estimated GDP. The commitment to returning the Budget surplus remains. The budget position over the forward estimates is as follows:
|% of GDP||(2.1%)||(1.6%)||(0.1%)||0.4%|
Real GDP growth is predicted to be 2.75% in 2017-18 (up from the likely outcome for 2016-17 of 1.75% but lower than that expected at May last year) and then increasing to 3.00% for 2018-19 and remaining steady for the next two years. The unemployment rate is forecast to remain steady at the current rate of 5.75% for 2017-18 and then decreasing slightly to 5.25% for 2018-19 and 2019-20. The CPI is estimated to increase slightly in 2017-18 to 2.50% up from the 2.00% estimated for 2016-17.
Mr Morrison described the Budget as one “about making the right choices to secure the better days ahead” through a “fair and responsible path back to a balanced budget” based on “the principles of fairness, security and opportunity”. As was the underlying sentiment of the previous year’s Budget, the choice is to “ensure the Government lives within its means” while still having a plan to:
- grow the economy to create more and better paid jobs;
- guarantee the essentials that Australians rely on; and
- reduce cost of living pressures.
To download a full copy of our Federal Budget Update click here.