Thu, 13 May 2021

Jobs growth key to Australian budget: Treasurer

Xinhua
16 Apr 2021, 14:05 GMT+10

CANBERRA, April 16 (Xinhua) -- Australia's Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has revealed that jobs growth will be at the center of the federal budget for 2021/22.

Frydenberg will hand down the budget on May 11 - only about seven months after the budget for 2020/21, which was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic.

He recently said that the government was focused on getting Australians back into work before tackling the record budget deficit and debt.

Frydenberg said that the government would enable and encourage "the private sector to keep hiring, to innovate, to grow and to help lead the recovery from here," according to News Corp Australia on Friday.

Data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday revealed that the unemployment rate fell to 5.6 percent in March compared to 5.8 percent in February.

Frydenberg previously said they would not begin tackling fiscal repair until unemployment is "comfortably" below 6 percent.

Australia's net debt is forecast to peak at 966 billion Australian dollars (748 billion U.S. dollars) - 44 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) - in 2024.

However, Frydenberg said that the economy was not yet ready for austerity measures.

"I'm going to make another speech on fiscal strategy before the budget, but our focus has been on (unemployment) comfortably below six, and we're not comfortably below six," he said.

Projections in the budget will rely on the timing of Australia's troubled coronavirus vaccine rollout and the resumption of international travel but Frydenberg said he was confident that the momentum and the recovery will continue despite the challenges with the vaccine."

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