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In just over 24 hours, the government will hand down what it is calling the ‘most important budget since World War II’ as it attempts to guide the Australian economy through the pandemic.
The forwards are never that trustworthy – in 2007, the Global Financial Crisis could not have been predicted. But trying to guess what’s going to happen over the next four years now, seems nigh on impossible.
Josh Frydenberg has completed the journalistic speed dating aspect of his pre-budget duties – where every organisation gets a short interview – and from that, we know the legislated tax cuts are coming forward, there should be extra assistance for low income earners and pensioners, and the government is anticipating a vaccine sometime in 2021.
Australia’s health experts are cooler on the 2021 vaccine hopes – at least a widespread vaccine – but no one can really guess when an effective vaccine will be available.
Or how long it will take to distribute. Or how the roll-out will go in each country. Or what that will mean to the global economy. I mean, Donald Trump being diagnosed with Covid-19 only happened on Friday, but it may have been a year ago, given the hyper-inflation of news and events lately.
So, the short version is – don’t put too much stock in the forwards, because trying to predict what will happen four years from now is like trying to predict a cat’s behaviour – you think you have an idea, but suddenly, scratching that one place is the worst thing to ever happen.
Parliament won’t sit today, but the MPs are all here preparing for the budget hand down, as well as the other pieces of legislation the government is trying to push through, including its changes to tertiary education. With Jacqui Lambie voting no, that bill is now down to Centre Alliance, which is being lobbied by all sides.
Meanwhile, New South Wales has started the push to have everyone return to work, in a physical office. Queensland is officially in election campaign mode, with the government officially dissolved tomorrow (today is a public holiday). Western Australia is holding firm on its border closures and Victoria is waiting on the numbers.
We’ll have all that and more, as we cover politics and the pandemic live, across all the timezones, for the 1567th day of 2020.
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Coronavirus Australia latest updates: all eyes on the budget as NSW urges return to offices – live news | Australia news