May 23, 2019
Dr Ganesh Nana

Will Wellbeing Budget be gazumped by sombre economic outlook?

Wellbeing Budget 2019 is set to be make or break for this self-titled transformational Government. And as this administration has done little to manage expectations around its transformation claims, this year's Budget needs to deliver given its recent string of perceived setbacks.

Of particular interest in the Budget announcements is just how different it will be from previous conventional Budget presentations. The interpretation and measurement of wellbeing is still unclear, and how these relate to stated Budget priorities will be eagerly awaited.

The economic context is admittedly sombre, with the accumulating risks from offshore reflected in the Reserve Bank's latest monetary policy to reduce the Official Cash Rate to 1.5 percent. However, at these low interest rates the relative impotence of monetary policy means fiscal policy (i.e. government spending and tax revenue) becomes paramount in managing the economic cycle. These considerations serve to further increase pressure on the 2019 Wellbeing Budget to deliver.

These and related issues were canvassed in our pre-Budget Briefing this week with BERL researchers Amanda Reid, Nick Robertson, and Ganesh Nana.

You may like to view the accompanying slides, or read our recent Birds Eye View analysis and comment on the Wellbeing Budget.

We'll also have our post-Budget analysis available on the afternoon of Thursday 30 May.