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It’s federal budget day. This is, according to most commentators, the most significant budget in decades. Australia is in the grip of its first recession in 29 years, and the coronavirus and related shutdowns are set to deliver a deficit of $200bn.
What is the solution proposed to address this economic stagnation? You guessed it, tax cuts. According to Guardian Australia political reporter Paul Karp, the federal government has been telegraphing for a month that it will bring forward already promised tax cuts by 12 months to three years. Labor opposes the latter. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg is also expected to announce some form of tax relief to businesses – detail pending.
Many will also be watching to see if the Morrision government decides to permanently increase the rate of income support payments.
Frydenberg has been saying all week that “this budget is all about jobs”. Which, fine, not particularly illuminating. The line being circulated is that it is a “record-spending budget”. Despite that, a poll conducted by Essential for Guardian Australia found that only 25% of respondents think the budget will be good for them personally. Luke Henriques-Gomes has written on the people expected to be left behind, here.
You can read Paul Karp’s list of what to look out for and what has already been announced here. He advises you to keep an eye on the deficit as a measure of the federal government’s commitment to economic supports, writing:
Future deficits will be a yardstick to judge how big the treasurer’s conversion is from fiscal conservative to Keynesian.
Your regularly scheduled Amy Remeikis will be in the budget lock-up and will come back to the blog this evening, when we know what’s going on.
In coronavirus news, people living in Melbourne will be tracking the progression of outbreaks including that linked to a Chadstone butcher, after the state’s chief health officer, Prof Brett Sutton, said it will be “line ball” whether the rolling 14-day average will drop to five cases a day in time for the next stage of restrictions to be introduced on 19 October.
Meanwhile, US president Donald Trump has announced he will leave hospital on Monday evening, Washington DC time. That’s in a few hours.
And finally, the Queensland parliament has been dissolved today ahead of the state election on 31 October.
Let’s crack on. You can follow me on Twitter @callapilla or email me at email@example.com
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Australia’s coronavirus budget: tax cuts at the heart of Coalition’s recovery strategy – follow live | Australia news