General consensus is that the Budget pretty much delivered on what the Government promised at election time, and that makes sense. Governments normally bring down budgets in May, but with the change of government immediately following the last budget, the incoming "Master Chefs of the nationally cooked economy" were never going to wait for 12 months before flavouring the national accounts with their own special brand of fiscal herbs and spices.
This, along with the more challenging global political, economic and financial environment meant a national recalibration of the budget was inevitable. Unsurprisingly, growth is now forecast to be lower, and inflation and unemployment are expected to be higher than at the start of the year.
The government has served the nation a budget based around conservative adjectives like, 'responsible, affordable and sustainable,' conscious that (now former) UK Prime Minister Liz Truss fell flat on her face by trying to be too "fiscally aggressive."
So this budget has three characteristics;
- It delivers the promises made at the election, effectively paying off the electorate for their support;
- It chants the "responsible financial management" mantra by paying off debt - read "smaller than anticipated deficits" - largely due to the accidental good fortune of higher commodity prices than anticipated, and:
- It prepares the electorate for the road aheadm, with the Treasurer and PM both constantly alluding to the fact that the nation is "living beyond its means" and needs to have "a conversation about the future of the Budget". (For this reason alone, I wouldn't bank those much talked about future tax cuts just yet...)
What we are starting to see more vividly than ever before are the death throws of the Baby Boomer generation and the consequences of this population bubble transitioning out of the economy, coinciding with international political instability, the tail of a global pandemic and the impacts of climate change creating a perfect storm of conditions that wreak havoc, particularly with the supply side of the economy.
Economic reform is something that Australia was pretty good at in the 1980's (so much was good about the eighties...), and in our current circumstances the conversation is not only necessary, its overdue.
Local Government Professionals are key players in local economic development and the management of local economies. They play a major role in managing both federal and State funding and in ensuring the delivery of important initiatives across the economy.
Two of our key strategic objectives are to be:
- actively sought out as the leading voice of local government professionals, representing members on matters affecting the sector, and;
- strong and effective in advocating on issues in the best interests of our members and the local government sector.
It's important that LG Professionals WA engage in this conversation and contribute to developing a better economic and financial future for both individual communities and the nation as a whole.