Treasurer Jim Chalmers to focus on eight priorities in the next Federal budget 

Eight key things that Treasurer Jim Chalmers wants to focus on in the next budget he will deliver in May

  • The treasurer has outlined eight priorities for the budget
  • This includes the cost of living and driving growth on the supply side

Treasurer Jim Chalmers has set out eight priorities for the next federal budget while warning that Australia is not immune to continued volatility in global financial markets.

“Events of recent weeks show that we now have increased volatility in the global financial system, driven by sharp and synchronized rate hikes around the world,” he wrote in an op-ed published Friday in The Australian.

“We cannot hope to be completely unaffected by global financial frictions, but our banks are well capitalized, well regulated and well placed.”

The 2022/23 budget to be tabled in May will need to strike the right balance between short- and long-term priorities, Dr Chalmers said.

The government’s books are deeply in the red and remain under pressure due to high government debt and costly longer-term funding needs of National Disability Insurance, elder care, health care and defense, he warned.

Treasurer Jim Chalmers (pictured) has outlined eight priorities for the next federal budget due in May

The eight priorities for the next federal budget

1. Cost of living

2. Engaging supply-side growth drivers

3. Funding national security priorities

4. Support the healthcare economy

5. Improvement of essential services

6. Improving women’s economic participation

7. Tackling entrenched deprivation

8. Cleaning up unfunded programs and ‘restraint and accountability across the board’

“That all means we have eight priorities for May,” Dr Chalmers said.

These include alleviating the cost of living, driving supply-side growth, funding national security priorities such as the AUKUS submarine project, and supporting the care economy while improving essential services and women’s economic participation.

The budget will also look at how to address entrenched deprivations in the community, clean up unfunded programs, and “retain restraint and accountability across the board.”

“This is the best way to manage uncertainty abroad and pressures at home and maximize our opportunities in the coming years,” said Dr Chalmers.

The treasurer’s comments come ahead of a Reserve Bank of Australia board meeting on monetary policy on Tuesday.

The meeting is in the spotlight on whether the central bank is raising interest rates again or pausing in the wake of a recent moderation in inflationary pressures in the economy.

But annual inflation remains high at about 6.8 percent, compared to the RBA’s goal of keeping inflation within a target range of two to three percent over the course of the economic cycle.

Some of the priorities Dr. Chalmers has identified include cost of living, driving supply-side growth and supporting the healthcare economy (stock image)

Some of the priorities Dr. Chalmers has identified include cost of living, driving supply-side growth and supporting the healthcare economy (stock image)

Meanwhile, Chief Executive Richard Marles has dismissed speculation that the budget could impose a tax increase on gas producers’ skyrocketing profits.

Asked if gas producers would be slammed, he said ‘no’, adding that the talk was about a review ordered by the former coalition government.

“This is a review of the petroleum resource rent tax mandated by the former government,” Mr Marles said.

‘They performed this review. We don’t have the result of the assessment yet. When we do, we’ll look into it.’

The Australian Financial Review on Friday quoted unnamed industry sources as saying that the Treasury’s 40 percent PRRT revision “has turned into a much larger” and “more material” revision, including a plan to generate more income from record earnings on the field of oil and gas.