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Economic reality has intruded on rosy budget predictions for years now and the Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Outlook may soon challenge Treasurer Scott Morrison’s forecasts. AAP/Mick Tsikas

Three critical tests for Budget 2016: how does it fare?

Budget repair was put off till later, and the net impact of decisions in the budget was small, but it will be easier to defend in the coming election campaign than some other recent efforts.
This government is fond of comparing the economy to a household budget - but there is one really major difference. AAP/Lukas Koch

Why the federal budget is not like a household budget

Treasurer Joe Hockey is experiencing difficult times. Deteriorating terms of trade and an uncooperative senate mean that he cannot deliver the surplus when he said he would and he cannot continue to cut…
Deficits in the longer term are not sustainable. AAP

Structural deficit is Hockey’s elephant in the room

Media reports preceding the mid year economic and fiscal outlook suggest we should expect a deficit of just under A$50 billion, a further deterioration of Australia’s budget position since the pre-election…
Could a new method of measuring structural deficits mean easing austerity pressures on troubled Eurozone economies? Chema Sanz via Flickr

Potentially less austerity for the troubled Eurozone

The EU Commission’s autumn economic forecasts are due tomorrow. What makes this event special this year is that there are rumours about a possible change in the Commission’s approach to calculating the…
What is the “optimal” level of public debt? Persistent deficits do not automatically lead to a situation where the government resembles a household under mortgage stress.

Debts and deficits: why a string of deficits does not necessarily spell the end of the world

The debate about long-term public finance and the role of government is one that is most definitely needed. However, there are two aspects to this debate that are often conflated. First, there is the issue…
Tony Abbott’s attack on Australia’s debt and taxation levels is sorely misguided. AAP/ Alan Porritt

Abbott’s budget bluster highlights a deficit of social responsibility

Today’s announcement by the government that it has a $12 billion “black hole” had the status of a confession. It needn’t have. All talk of “black holes”, “revenue shortfalls” and “structural deficits…
Governments have been increasing expenditure, despite shrinking tax revenues. But our structural deficit is unsustainable and must be tackled. Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com

Federal Budget 2013: Why our unsustainable structural deficit must be tackled

All Australian governments, and ultimately all Australians, are faced with making tough decisions in their budgets. Without significant reductions in government expenditures and the services they provide…

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