This week's update shows an improvement on the numbers in the budget that was delivered only 10 weeks ago. The prospects for growth and employment have been revised upwards. While the forecast for the deficit remains massive, at nearly $200 billion, it has been revised down.
But even as we return to some sort of normality, it will be many years before the economy resembles its pre-COVID self. And the Parliamentary Budget Office predicts the federal budget won't leave its deficit behind in this decade.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg joins the podcast to discuss Thursday's budget update and the economy's future.
Frydenberg acknowledges the road back will be tough, for the economy and the budget.
Given the "huge economic shock" of COVID, the "unprecedented spending" will leave us in the red for a long time. "There will be a very challenging fiscal environment for years out of this crisis."
But the economic future looks vastly better than in the hairy initial days of the COVID crisis.
"Very early on it was uncertain, and many of us feared the worst."
"Treasury told me early on in the pandemic that the unemployment rate could reach 10%, and, but for Jobkeeper, reach 15%. That's a very different world to the one that you and I face today."
"Programmes like JobKeeper, the cash flow boost, the JobSeeker Coronavirus Supplement, the $750 payments, now $250 payments to pensioners and to carers and others on income support have very much helped pull Australia through this challenging time.
"Australians go into Christmas with real cause for optimism and hope."
Matt Canavan on Holgate, Di Bartolomeo, and John Andersen
Stephen Duckett on what's gone wrong with the rollout
Linda Burney on the treatment of Indigenous Women
Sussan Ley on being a woman in politics
Zali Steggall on Monday's march and Scott Morrison's response
Fleur Johns on the rule of law
Politics with Michelle Grattan: Patricia Sparrow on the Royal Commission into Aged Care
Former MP Kate Ellis on the culture in parliament house
David Littleproud on The Nationals and net zero
Anthony Albanese on his new frontbench, Joel Fitzgibbon, and Labor’s imminent workplace policy
Chief Scientist Alan Finkel on climate, energy and emissions
Asia-Pacific expert Bates Gill on China’s endgame
two views on increasing the super contribution
Defence expert Allan Behm on the background to the Brereton report
Joel Fitzgibbon on Labor climate policy and leadership
economist Danielle Wood on Australia’s ‘blokey’ budge
a budget for a pandemic
Chris Richardson on what Tuesday’s budget will and should do
New Zealand’s Helen Clark on the pandemic inquiry and avoiding election ‘cat fights
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