Liam Bartlett grills Finance Minister on ‘uncomfortable’ deficit
This year’s federal budget has been broadly welcomed, with big spending measures across most parts of the economy.
However, while the deficit is coming down it still remains sky high at $161 billion for 2020-21.
Speaking with 6PR’s Liam Bartlett on Wednesday Federal Finance Minister Simon Birmingham shrugged off claims the deficit is “uncomfortable”.
“The global shock of COVID-19 has been the biggest economic shock since World War II,” he said.
“It has had profound impacts on budgets right around the world and ours is no different to that.
“We went into this crisis with debt significantly lower than most other advanced nations, and we are still in that position.”
Billions of dollars have been thrown at infrastructure projects, aged care and families in a bid to drive more jobs.
“It is essential that we also have a strong economy, if we don’t have Australians shifting from welfare into work, if we don’t maintain that economic strength, then we end up in a very viscous cycle” Mr Birmingham said.
Press PLAY to hear more
Shadow Treasurer Jim Chalmers has argued that the federal government has missed an opportunity to implement serious reform in this year’s budget.
“The admission of failure in the budget is the fact that despite spending $100 billion in new commitments and racking up a trillion-dollars in debt, the budget still says that real wages will go backwards in this country.”
Press PLAY to hear the full interview
(Photo: Sam Mooy/ Getty Images.)