National
Representative Image

Coronavirus pandemic to cost Australia over 348 bln USD over 10 years

Jun 06, 2020

Canberra (Australia), June 6: The coronavirus crisis will cost more than 500 billion Australian dollars (348.3 billion U.S. dollars) of the Australian budget over the next decade, a report found.
According to Parliamentary Budget Office (PBO) projections released on Friday, the budget deficit will peak at 191 billion AUD (133 billion U.S. dollars) in financial year 2020-21 compared to a 6.1 billion AUD (4.2 billion U.S. dollars) surplus projected by the government prior to the pandemic.
The budget will then remain in deficit until at least 2030, the PBO report found, with a projected cumulative deficit of 528 billion AUD (367.8 billion U.S. dollars).
The government's net debt is expected to rise to 15 percent of GDP, or 550 billion AUD (383.1 billion U.S. dollars) by 2029-30.
With unemployment expected to rise to 10 percent in the second quarter of 2020, the PBO found that personal income tax collections would fall 9 billion AUD (6.2 billion U.S. dollars) in 2019-20 and by a further 47 billion AUD (32.7 billion U.S. dollars) in 2020-21.
Tax collections in 2029-30 are expected to be 14 billion AUD (9.7 billion U.S. dollars) lower than previously projected as a result of the pandemic.
Responding to the report, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that governments would have to spend carefully over the next 10 years to reign the debt in.
"So I would stress that is why, more than ever, we have to be careful about the expenditure we are engaged in. It has to be well measured, it has to be well targeted, it has to be time limited," he told reporters on Friday.
"The best way to raise revenue is to get people back into jobs and your economy moving forward."
Source: Xinhua News Agency