April 2022

Posted by Anton Murray Consulting on . Posted in 2022

With the date for the Australian federal election now set for 21 May, the Federal Budget was a highly anticipated one, especially after such a tumultuous couple of years. A Budget in an election year can often be the political springboard governments and oppositions utilise to get on the front foot with voters. So what happened with the 2022 Budget?

Global political and economic uncertainty with war in Ukraine and the continued social and financial costs associated with the pandemic seemed to cajole the government into reiterating its previously stated notions of economic stability and its sound track record, particularly in comparison to other western nations’ economic response and recovery from COVID. In this endeavour the government has tried to address short cost pressures at the bowser by reducing fuel excises and additional tax offsets.

Similarly, for small business comes tax offsets for technology take ups and staff training. Government spending and debt as a proportion of GDP are still quite significant even though the plan to reduce these figures has been taken into account. We’ll likely see an interest rate rise on the cards soon, and inflation is beginning to increase. But despite a difficult couple of years, the Australian economy has experienced strong growth and low unemployment. So it was hard for the Labor opposition to really go hard against any of the government’s measures beyond adding their own, particularly in aged care.

Overall this was a sound budget without too much of a shake up and no real reform built in, making some business groups nervous. Whilst it was a platform for the government to begin its election campaign, much of this has been washed away or ignored with the media’s focus firmly on “Mean Girls” in the ALP and the style and even legitimacy of the Prime Minister’s leadership. These are important issues no doubt, but not matters that should take precedence over how Australia continues to rebuild post-COVID or how we deal with growing global economic jitters and a fragile geopolitical environment. With a month until Australia goes to the polls, the debate will begin to ramp up as both parties, and both leaders, vie for the top job.

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