SAUL ESLAKE

Economist

SAUL ESLAKE

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I’m an independent economist, speaker, company director
and Vice-Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Tasmania’

Video & Presentation Slides: Saul’s Assessment of 2021 – 2022 Australian Federal Budget


Australian Federal Budget, Australian Society and Politics, Economic Policies, The Australian Economy | 12th May 2021

Last year’s budget encapsulated a massive turnaround in the Morrison Government’s fiscal strategy, from one focussed on achieving and then maintaining budget surpluses and paying down with a view eventually to eliminating government net debt, to one focussed on supporting economic activity and employment in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, even though that meant running the largest budget deficits (as a proportion of GDP) since World War II and a dramatic increase in public debt. Partly thanks to that turnaround, Australia’s economy has fared better than those of most other ‘advanced’ nations – economic activity is back to its pre-Covid level, employment is above its pre-Covid level, and the unemployment rate is now down to within ½ a percentage point of its pre-covid level. In response, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has again “shifted the goalposts” for his Government’s fiscal strategy, saying that the Government won’t begin the task of discretionary ‘budget repair’ until the unemployment rate is “well below where it was prior to the pandemic”. That means that both monetary and fiscal policy will be working in harmony, towards a common goal of lower unemployment – rather than at cross purposes, as they have done for most of the past two decades.

Join Saul for a discussion of how the 2021-22 Budget implements this new fiscal strategy, and how Australia’s economic outlook is likely to be affected by it.

2021-05-12 Federal Budget assessment

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