Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has refused to say too much about what the budget may entail, but on Thursday, he revealed that it will represent the next stage of the government’s JobMaker plan, with a majority of measures set to focus on easing the red tape burden on business to get people back into work.
Speaking to media, the Treasurer said: “Our focus is about getting unemployment down, and as you’ll see in the budget, which is the next stage in our JobMaker plan, it’s all about the economic recovery.”
There are several ways to do this, the Treasurer said, but boosting aggregate demand and cutting red tape are among the most vital.
The government, he added, is set “to engage in getting more flexibility in our labour market, cutting red tape, focusing on skills, making it easier to do business”.
“That will be a real focus in our budget.”
Mr Frydenberg reiterated that tax cuts are on the cards, with the government set to lower the tax burden on all Australians.
“Well, I’ve said publicly before that we’re considering the timing of those tax cuts, which, as you know, were coming out in three stages and we legislated those after the last election and they were endorsed by the Australian people at the last election,” Mr Frydenberg said.
“You’ll have to turn on at 7.30pm on October 6 to see what our tax plan is.”
Reflecting on the latest unemployment data and OECD’s decision to upgrade its forecast for the Australian economy for this calendar year, the Treasurer conceded that there are many challenges ahead.
He said: “The OECD is expecting the Australian economy to grow by 2.5 per cent next calendar year and this was slightly below what they had been forecasting just a couple of months ago.
“What they will see and what you will see in the budget is that next stage in our JobMaker plan, with a focus on tax, with a focus on industrial relations, with a focus on cutting red tape, with a focus on energy, with a focus on skills, and a focus on infrastructure.
“They’re the inputs into creating more jobs, as the output. And the way to get our budget back to where it was is to grow the economy, and that will take years. This is a long, hard, bumpy road and there are real challenges ahead.”