The economy


While employment levels are returning to pre-COVID levels, the scale of stimulus has left Australia facing fiscal and wage growth challenges as the pandemic continues to influence assumptions around the longer term.

In his Budget speech, the Treasurer stated "Australia is coming back" with unemployment lower than pre pandemic levels (5.6%).

The deficit, thanks in part to surging iron ore prices, is lower than anticipated in the 2020-21 Federal Budget at $161 billion in 2020-21, a $52.7 billion improvement to estimates. The underlying cash balance is expected to be a deficit of $106.6 billion in 2021-22 and continue to improve over the forward estimates to a deficit of $57 billion in 2024-25.  While the deficit is large, it did its job.

Real GDP grew strongly over the latter half of 2020, marking the first time on record when Australia has experienced two consecutive quarters of economic growth above 3% - output is expected to have exceeded its pre-pandemic level in the March quarter of 2021. Real GDP is forecast to grow by 1.25% in 2020-21, by 4.25% in 2021-22 and 2.5% in 2022-23. After falling by 2.5% in 2020, real GDP is expected to grow by 5.25% in 2021, and by 2.75% in 2022.

Net Debt    Real GDP

Key budget assumptions

A population-wide vaccination program is likely to be in place by the end of 2021.

  • During 2021, localised outbreaks of COVID-19 are assumed to occur but are effectively contained.
  • General social distancing restrictions and hygiene practices will continue until medical advice recommends removing them.
  • No extended or sustained state border restrictions in place over the forecast period.
  • A gradual return of temporary and permanent migrants from mid-2022. Small phased programs for international students will commence in late 2021 and gradually increase from 2022. The rate of international arrivals will continue to be constrained by state and territory quarantine caps over 2021 and the first half of 2022, with the exception of passengers from Safe Travel Zones.
  • Inbound and outbound international travel is expected to remain low through to mid-2022, after which a gradual recovery in international tourism is assumed to occur.

Revenue: Where 2021-22 Budget revenue comes from


Expenditure: How the 2021-22 Budget is spent

More information

We've compiled the key points from Budget 2021/22 for your review, but as always if we can be of assistance, please contact your accountant on 02 9957 4033 for guidance on how these measures impact you, your family, and your business.

Below are further details on specific measures:

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This article is provided for information purposes only and correct at the time of publication. It should not be used in place of advice from your accountant. Please contact us on 02 9957 4033 to discuss your specific circumstances.

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