Budget deficit still a grave problem

Six months on from the release of CEDA’s Deficit to balance: budget repair options, Budget deficit remains a grave problem, CEDA National Chairman Paul McClintock AO has told the State of the Nation conference.


“Although CEDA’s report was only released in March, a number of significant events have happened since, not the least of which was the Federal Election,” he said.

“Unfortunately, the public debate shifted away from budget repair once the election campaign was in full swing and even the May Budget failed to kick-start the budget repair conversation.”

Reflecting on CEDA’s research is timely given the Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Scott Morrison released the FY2016 Final Budget Outcome recently which confirmed a $40 billion deficit, Mr McClintock said.

Mr McClintock said given these results there is “no believable end to the deficit in sight.”

Despite being off the election agenda, Mr McClintock said a speech to CEDA by the Prime Minister in August put the deficit issue back on the agenda.

“We welcome the Prime Minister’s and Treasurer’s efforts to put the very important task for repairing the budget back on the agenda,” he said.

“We are now getting clear messages from the government that there will be dire consequences if we don’t bring the budget back to balance.”

Mr McClintock said although measures such as the Omnibus Bill have been announced since CEDA released its report and there has been a change in rhetoric around budget repair from the Government, it is unlikely to occur anytime soon.

“I remain unconvinced that we are any closer to achieving surplus within a reasonable timeframe,” he said.

“What is needed is a comprehensive public policy approach that determines outcomes for the greater good.”

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