The Government has a clear path to return the budget to surplus while building a stronger economy, a smarter nation and a fairer society.
A stronger economy
Australia's economic fundamentals are strong. However, difficult global conditions and the sustained high dollar are weighing heavily on prices and profits across the board and reducing budget revenues. The hit to revenues will see a budget deficit of $18.0 billion in 2013‑14.
The Government has responded to these changing circumstances by setting a pathway to return the budget to balance in 2015‑16 and to surplus by 2016‑17. It is achieving this while continuing to invest in our economy to keep it strong.
To boost our nation's productivity, this Budget invests $24 billion over six years in public transport and roads, including regional highways.
A smarter nation
We are making historic investments in our children, schools and workforce to help drive productivity and a smarter nation.
Our unprecedented investment in early childhood education, once in a generation school reforms, and additional higher education places will ensure our children have the education they need for the high‑skilled, high wage jobs of the future.
These reforms will provide more support in the classroom, more training for teachers and support for kids doing it tough. This investment will ensure every child has the opportunity to achieve their potential.
A fairer society
The Government is committed to creating opportunities that provide a fairer future for all.
This Budget delivers permanent and enduring funding for DisabilityCare Australia, one of the biggest social policy reforms in our nation's history.
We have identified enduring savings to make room for our priorities and help achieve the goals of our fiscal strategy.
As a result of our sound fiscal management, we are able to sustainably make the vital investments needed to build a stronger economy, smarter nation and fairer society.
|Underlying cash balance ($b)(a)||-43.4||-19.4||-18.0||-10.9||0.8||6.6|
|Per cent of GDP||-2.9||-1.3||-1.1||-0.6||0.0||0.4|
|Fiscal balance ($b)||-44.5||-20.3||-13.5||-6.3||6.0||10.8|
|Per cent of GDP||-3.0||-1.3||-0.8||-0.4||0.3||0.6|
(a) Excludes net Future Fund earnings
|Real GDP||3||2 3/4||3||3||3|
|Employment||1 1/4||1 1/4||1 1/2||1 1/2||1 1/2|
|Unemployment rate||5 1/2||5 3/4||5 3/4||5||5|
|Consumer Price Index||2 1/2||2 1/4||2 1/4||2 1/2||2 1/2|
|Nominal GDP||3 1/4||5||5||5 1/4||5 1/4|
Real and nominal GDP are year‑average growth. Employment and CPI are through‑the year growth to the June quarter. The unemployment rate is the rate for the June quarter.