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A triple F rating for this federal budget

By Graham Young - posted Thursday, 16 May 2024


Listening to the treasurer's budget speech, I thought that maybe this is the way modern Australia is - fat, flaccid, and foolish - and I just have to accept it.

Fat?

Well, treasury coffers have been swollen by terms of trade which are possibly the best in a hundred years, possibly even since the gold rushes that made "marvellous" Melbourne, briefly, the richest city in the world.

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And we seem content as a nation to live off it.

This graph shows how our mineral wealth has given us a period of extraordinary wealth. It started in 2004, but it rose another notch just after COVID.

You might call the last rise the "Ukraine dividend," because that war is what forced the price of internationally traded commodities like iron, coal, gas, and oil up to historically high levels and produced that flick in the tail of our terms of trade.

As a commodity economy, we have benefited, and the treasurer is spending the bounty provided by resource company tax receipts faster than we can grow the economy.

As a commodity economy, we should also know that these sorts of crises eventually go away, and with them the surplus cash.

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Goodies for everyone

The treasurer's speech also read like a smorgasbord of goodies.

As he said, "everyone's a winner," or more accurately it "delivers for every Australian."

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This article was first published by the Epoch Times.



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About the Author

Graham Young is chief editor and the publisher of On Line Opinion. He is executive director of the Australian Institute for Progress, an Australian think tank based in Brisbane, and the publisher of On Line Opinion.

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