Additional cost-of-living assist unlikely, regardless of $20b surplus


The federal authorities is “not at the moment engaged on” cost-of-living reduction for struggling Australians, regardless of revealing it expects a $20 billion surplus for the previous monetary 12 months.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers revealed the determine, which comes off the again of a powerful labour market and excessive commodity costs for key exports, on Monday.

The underlying money steadiness for the 12 months to Might was $19 billion, up from the $4.2 billion surplus for 2022/23 flagged within the federal funds.

It will likely be Australia’s first funds surplus in 15 years.

Dr Chalmers mentioned the determine can be finalised in coming weeks.

Regardless of the development, Dr Chalmers had no rapid plans for additional cost-of-living reduction packages. He mentioned the federal government had managed to assist struggling Australians whereas boosting productiveness “so we are able to lay the foundations for future progress as properly”.

“The federal government’s foremost focus is on offering cost-of-living reduction by rolling out the commitments we’ve remodeled our first two budgets,” he mentioned.

“We’re not at the moment engaged on a brand new bundle of cost-of-living reduction. We’re targeted on rolling out billions of {dollars} in cost-of-living reduction we have now already introduced.”

Dr Chalmers mentioned the newer beneficial properties can be banked because the Albanese authorities labored to tame inflation.

“We have to recognise that although the funds is in significantly better situation within the close to time period, we have now the longer-term intensifying pressures as properly,” he mentioned in Canberra on Monday.

“We weigh all of that up, however the method we have now taken is textbook fiscal coverage, focused reduction for folks however not on the expense of repairing the funds.”

Dr Chalmers mentioned whereas inflation was coming down, it was nonetheless too excessive. Extra inflation information is due later this week.

“We’ve made it clear that inflation is moderating in our economic system. We wish to see it reasonable faster. It will likely be increased than we’d like for longer than we’d like however it has come off the height in inflation that we noticed round Christmas time,” he mentioned.

“Actually the expectation is for lower than what we noticed at the start of 2022.”

Dr Chalmers made the announcement as he unveiled the following head of the Productiveness Fee, saying robust financial foundations stemmed from “the suitable establishments and the suitable management of these establishments”.

Cupboard has agreed to place ahead Chris Barrett, a former ambassador to the OECD and chief of employees to Labor treasurer Wayne Swan.

– with AAP



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