The Australian government will reveal its 2022-2023 state budget today.
The budget comes approximately two months before the country’s federal elections, which will be held by May 21st. Therefore, while the previous budget focused on a medium-term economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s budget will likely be delivered with short-term electoral objectives. The incumbent liberal-national coalition government has been trailing the opposition Labor Party in opinion polls since the end of June 2021.
Expect the government to provide further generous financial bonuses through an already announced cash bonus program for groups receiving income support in an attempt to increase its popularity. Tax relief for middle to high earners is also a strong possibility.
The government will likely pass the budget in parliament and receive some positive feedback in opinion polls from its policies. It will try use this positive feedback to begin the election campaign on its own terms. The opposition is likely to support the budgetary measures. However, they will also likely criticise the government for not providing relief for lower-income Australians. This will be an attempt to cancel out the polling benefits of the government while remaining on the offensive.
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Cian is a Research Analyst and contributes to both Analysis and the Daily Brief. He specializes in Australian and European geopolitics with a particular interest in the strategic autonomy of the EU.