The budget is one of the key tools that government has to effect meaningful change.
Changes to the government's targets in its budget update give it room to spend more.
Politics with Michelle Grattan: Mathias Cormann and Jim Chalmers on the mid-year budget update.
The Conversation, CC BY29.7 MB (download)
The figures indicate a worsening economy, but the government has sought to put a positive spin on the situation, saying the Australian economy is showing resilience.
The projected surplus has been revised down from A$7.1 billion at budget time to $5 billion for this financial year.
Every one of the 13 economists surveyed by The Conversation thinks more stimulus is needed. None think it should all come from the Reserve Bank. Most think the budget surplus can wait.
Ross Gittins on the government’s “surplus obsession”
The Conversation, CC BY29.3 MB (download)
As the Australian economy continues to struggle, many argue that stimulus is needed, urging the government to abandon its "surplus obsession".
A big surplus will come. It should be saved for something important, not simply spent.
Jim Chalmers on the need to change economic course.
The Conversation, CC BY35.9 MB (download)
In this podcast, Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers argues the government can have both a more stimulatory policy and a surplus going forward.
Politics with Michelle Grattan: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on a slowing economy
This week's June quarter national accounts showed the weakest economic growth since the GFC, but Treasurer Josh Frydenberg remains optimistic.
With a relatively low debt to GDP ratio, Australia was never at risk of becoming Greece. But Germany, with negative interest rates and scant prospects for economic growth, is an open question.
A bold government would have delivered stages one, two and three of the tax cuts at once. Boldness is what we need.