The new Australian budget was anounced by Treasurer Wayne Swan in Canbera last week. The focus of the budget is on tackling regional Australia’s labour shortages by increasing skilled migration and spending on skills training.
Mr Swan said the budget presented a once-in-a-career opportunity to “convert a mining boom into an opportunity boom,” by attacking welfare dependence, “The whole theme of everything I do is that we create prosperity to spread opportunity.”
The deficit this year is 54.25 billion U.S. dollars, up nearly 11 billion U.S. dollars on the previous estimate predicted last November.
Mr Swan blamed natural disasters in Australia and Japan for 9.9 billion U.S. dollars in output lost, reducing real GDP growth by three-quarters of a percentage point this year.
He said tax receipts are also down 17.6 billion U.S. dollars as a result of the global financial crisis.
He insisted in the longer term there would be economic strength and strong job creation, adding that the deficit is expected fall to 24.82 billion U.S. dollars and real GDP growth would bounce back to a strong four percent in 2012/13.
Mr Swan conceded much of the economic growth would depend on the booming mining industry, exports to China and a huge growth in investment.
“Mining investment will rise to around eight times the level preceding the boom to 83 billion U.S. dollars in 2011-12, underpinned by the highest sustained terms of trade in 140 years,” he said.
Overall, the Australian government has flagged new spending of more than 9. 9 billion U.S. dollars and savings of 24 billion U.S. dollars, in a move to get the budget back in surplus in 2012/13.
There are new programs in health and programs to encourage low- income families to better educate their children.
Savings will be made partly through reform of the car fringe benefits tax, deferring promised indexation of family payments and family tax benefits, deferring defense capital and workforce spending, and demanding the public service work more efficiently.