The treasurer, Scott Morrison, and the finance minister, Mathias Cormann, “took out the garbage” last Friday afternoon, dumping the final budget outcome for 2015-16 on the Treasury website under the cover of the football grand finals, a long weekend and the start of school holidays around much of the country.
Morrison and Cormann came close to breaching the Charter of Budget Honesty, which requires the release of each budget outcome for the prior financial year by 30 September each year. They made it with a few hours to spare.
They also released it without a press conference or detailed media release, making sure there was miniscule coverage of something that would normally be a key area of economic and fiscal management. This is especially the case with “budget repair”, the “return to surplus”, “paying off debt” and dealing with the “budget emergency” being the basis that saw the Coalition elected to power in both September 2013 and July 2016.
Looking at the budget outcome document, it is clear why it was released in the shadows of the Friday night without any fanfare.
The 2015-16 budget deficit was $39.6bn or 2.4% of gross domestic product. When the former treasurer Joe Hockey delivered the first budget of the Coalition government in May 2014, the budget deficit for 2015-16 was forecast to be $17.1bn.
via The Guardian