The Parliamentary Budget Office has issued a fresh reminder of how Australia’s political system is struggling to grapple with one of its most basic tasks – keeping the budget in balance.
In a series of graphs, the independent body shows that failure to curb spending and manage faltering tax revenues has left the budget in an ever-deteriorating mess, despite years of positive economic growth.
… Most damning – and the primary reason Australia’s AAA credit rating is facing the very real prospect of being cut for the first time in three decades – is the never-ending rise in national debt, which is growing faster than almost every other highly-rated nation.
The budget office estimates that net debt will surge to $428.5 billion – or 22.6 per cent of gross domestic product – by 2018-19. That’s $30.9 billion more than was forecast at the mid-year budget update in late 2015.