Griffith Business School experts have had their say on the 2017 Federal Budget and have been left underwhelmed by Treasurer Scott Morrison’s second economic blueprint.
In a special Griffith Business School presentation, five key academics reviewed the budget’s impact on the economy, superannuation, regional Australia, energy policy, defence and on the political landscape.
Head of Department for Accounting, Finance and Economics Professor Fabrizio Carmignani said the Treasurer fell short of what Australia needs to sustain long term growth. Professor Carmignani also argues that this budget does not do nearly enough to avoid the growing disparity between the rich and poor.
“I would have liked to see some specific intervention to ensure that growth is inclusive. Instead, most of the spending that is indeed instrumental to reducing inequality is classified as so-called ‘bad debt’ and, this spending can only be financed through taxes.”
Housing affordability was one of the key pillars of the 2017 Budget and in the the view of Associate Professor Robert Bianchi, the new superannuation measures were not entirely thought through.
“Despite the innovation of the proposal in which first home buyers can accumulate savings in a low tax superannuation environment, the changes complicate policy and does not address some of the core problems of housing affordability,” Dr Bianchi said.
Political Scientist Professor Anne Tiernan argues this budget is make or break for Prime Minister Turnbull and Treasurer Morrison.
“Turnbull’s refusal to embrace more ambitious and fundamental reforms – to Australia’s federation; tax and transfer systems and to give coherence to its innovation agenda, risks continuing to frustrate his numerous critics,” Professor Tiernan said.
And the nation building programs, worth up to 70 billion dollars, should provide some help to struggling regional economies particularly the mammoth inland rail network between Melbourne and Brisbane according to Professor Christine Smith.
“The challenge is to ensure that projects selected are not judged by the media as political pork-barrelling for vulnerable electorates, but represent both good value for money and meet the definition of ‘good’ debt financed infrastructure.”