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Articles on Deficit

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So there. Steel Wool

All this talk about balancing the budget is …

Remember the Maastricht criteria? No, I didn’t think so. Nor apparently do Britain’s political leaders, based on their manifestos for tackling the UK’s deficit. The Maastricht Criteria were the convergence…
Struggling with the numbers? PA Wire

How George Osborne fell into the deficit gap

The Autumn Statement was supposed to be a celebratory moment for the coalition government – with its deficit-reduction strategy nearing completion and the 2015 election on the horizon, pre-election giveaways…
Ed to Ed. Facundo Arrizabalaga/EPA

Labour bid to break from the past ignores the fiscal reality

Ed Miliband is trying to wrestle back the political initiative in Manchester. The leader of the opposition must avoid becoming mired in deeply complex constitutional questions of devolution at his party’s…
A hockey stick back to surplus? Lukas Coch/AAP

Hockey’s hockey stick: a lesson in budget fudging

You can’t fault a treasurer for trying to put the best possible spin on budget numbers — and that’s certainly what Joe Hockey did last night. The most important numbers, of course, are the deficit projections…

Infographic: federal budget at a glance

Since publication this infographic has been amended. The original version stated the NDIS was scaled back. There are no planned cuts to the funding of the NDIS.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott may believe economic growth will solve Australia’s budget problem, but Joe Hockey should be looking for solutions elsewhere. Alan Porritt/AAP

Hockey can’t grow us out of trouble: lessons in budget repair

The mid-year budget update released on Tuesday — known as MYEFO — largely tells close observers what they knew already. The Commonwealth budget doesn’t add up. Revenues don’t cover outgoings. The numbers…
All options considered: Treasurer Joe Hockey has unveiled a bleak outlook for the May federal budget. AAP

‘All options on the table’: Hockey unveils MYEFO, experts react

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey’s first budget update has revealed a massive blowout to the bottom line and a warning of a decade of deficits ahead. The government’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO…
Servicing the current level of public gross debt is not a problem for Australia. Image sourced from

Explainer: the role of budget deficits

There continues to be a great debate around Australia’s fiscal position. Yet, budget deficits are, in fact, a natural outcome of the business cycle. In a policy brief, co-authored by myself and colleagues…
How does Australia’s economy stack up when compared globally?

FactCheck: how strong is Australia’s economy?

“We have among the lowest of budget deficits and debt to GDP of any other major economies in the developed world… If it’s so bad, Mr Abbott, why have we been given by the three ratings agencies a AAA credit…
In aiming for a deficit in 2013-14, Treasurer Wayne Swan has made a future surplus more likely. AAP

Deficit hysteria debunked: in the long run, Keynes was right

Recent years have demonstrated the enduring strength of a core Keynesian insight: deficit spending may result in higher growth and enable states to move more quickly into surplus. In this light, Australian…
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…

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