The Unshackled put together a 2018 Budget Night Livestream on Tuesday, May 8th featuring Editor in Chief Tim Wilms and Political Editor Michael Smyth. We didn’t have the benefit of the 6-hour budget lock up to pour over the papers like the mainstream media. So we watched Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget address at 7.30pm, did 30 minutes of intense preperation to bring you the figures and analysis.
The good news in the budget that we can afford tax cuts, increased spending on infrastructure, aged care, PBS drugs is largely thanks not to the federal government’s fiscal responsibility but their luck that economic conditions have improved and hence revenue. The fact that this budget did not prioritise paying down the debt is its main downside, a view echoed by Howard Government Treasurer Peter Costello and former Liberal leader John Hewson.
A surplus $2.2 billion is projected in 2019-20 with tax to be limited to 23.9% of GDP and surpluses to be aimed at 0.5% of GDP. Unemployment is projected to remain above 5% with real wages growth stuck at still 2.5%.
There is no increase in Newstart and a new crackdown on those claiming welfare and who have other forms of income. Tax cuts have been targeted at low and middle-income earners. The small business instant write-off for assets less than 20,000 continues for one year.
Overall this budget is not enough to get the Turnbull Government re-elected because it will be forgotten in a month and does not contain enough pre-election bribes nor does it cement the Coalition as the responsible ec0nomic managers who can be trusted to deliver a surplus.