In his speech to the House of Representatives tonight, Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed the 2017-18 budget was a “fair and responsible path back to a balanced budget”.
The Conversation asked three experts – political speech expert Tom Clark, linguist Annabelle Lukin, and economist Danielle Wood – to closely watch the treasurer’s budget speech, which you can read in full here. We’ve collected their live tweets of the speech in Storify below, and a selection of their best tweets and annotations is to come.
I can confirm tonight that the budget is projected to return to balance in 2020–21 and remain in surplus over the medium term. – Treasurer Scott Morrison
The budget position is forecast to improve from a deficit of A$37.6 billion this year to a surplus of $7.4 billion in 2021. This is now the eight budget is which the government has claimed that we will back to surplus (or close to it) over the four-year forward estimates.
In reality, the deficit has sat stubbornly at around 2% of GDP. Underpinning these hopes is strong projected growth in income tax collections as wages are forecast to rise from 2.1% to 3.75% in 2021, which looks very optimistic. – Danielle Wood, Grattan Institute
To respect future taxpayers, this everyday spending should be funded from the first dollar we receive in taxes, not debt. – Treasurer Scott Morrison
This is a big-taxing, big-spending budget. Almost all the budget repair “work” in this budget comes from higher revenues. Revenues are forecast to increase from 23.2% to 25.4% GDP between 2017 and 2021.
Spending is forecast to fall marginally from 25.2% to 25% GDP. And most of the revenue increases are from personal income tax – because of the increase in the Medicare levy and bracket creep from strong forecast wage growth. – Danielle Wood, Grattan Institute
The Snowy Mountains Scheme is the benchmark for nation-building infrastructure. – Treasurer Scott Morrison
Government will be equity holder in these projects. These equity injections don’t factor into the budget balance numbers. This is the same treatment as the National Broadband Network. This has allowed the government to announce a sizeable program of infrastructure spending (western Sydney airport, Snowy Hydro, inland rail) without finding the money to pay for it.
Unless these projects generate a commercial return they will cost taxpayers down the track. – Danielle Wood, Grattan Institute
Authors: Tom Clark, Associate Professor, College of Arts, Victoria University