Time to spend boldly in the ACT budget, but the economic future needs balance | Canberra weather


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The government will open its wallet and spend big – and he hopes Canberrans will too, as soon as the restrictions relax and the city can again consume en masse. The nationwide rollout of vaccination in ACT has given the government the confidence to project a strong economic recovery, mirroring what happened last year when the Canberrans spent well as soon as they were cleared. With Canberra in the midst of a global crisis – one that may only happen once in a lifetime – now is a good time to be bold. MORE ACT BUDGET: ACT will run the biggest deficit in its history – $ 951.5 million – as part of these efforts, but the number of one-off initiatives this year will mean the deficit will shrink quickly. The government knows it cannot fight its way to glory. Strong public spending is the cornerstone of the budget, designed to create jobs and support businesses until the end of the pandemic. A strong economy means a good tax intake, which will help pay for expenses. What goes around comes around. Now is, after all, a good time for ACT to borrow money, with record interest rates. The recovery will need to be managed carefully in the future, but the current stimulus will make it easier. The $ 5 billion infrastructure spending pipeline, outlined in the budget, is more focused on projects already underway. It’s a smart move, because it means the money starts flowing into the economy earlier. Prioritizing money for new ideas that still have a long way to go from drawing board to shovel would be slower. But even Chief Minister Andrew Barr recognizes that spending so much money is a lofty goal. A natural disaster – hail, bushfire or pandemic – could slow things down. The same goes for the bursting of the real estate bubble. With low interest rates and pent-up demand, house prices have risen throughout the pandemic. The median price of homes in Canberra is north of $ 1 million. A strong housing market helps to support the territory’s performance, which is highly dependent on land income. Budget documents indicate that the real estate market is “dynamic” and assume that upward pressure on prices and growth in investor demand will also continue after the foreclosure. An unaffordable city with a strong economy is no use either. The territory’s economic future must carefully consider how to balance the need to diversify income, make housing affordable, and chart growth beyond the pandemic. While Canberra sidestepped the worst effects of COVID-19 last year, the territorial government has recognized the role of luck in averting the virus. This kind of result was not just the product of good management. It will still take some luck for ACT to chart its course economically, but at least the preparation generally looks solid. MORE ACT BUDGET: Our reporters work hard to provide local and up-to-date news to the community. Here’s how you can continue to access our trusted content:




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