Canberra: Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will provide an unprecedented update on the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the country’s budget on May 12.
Frydenberg and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann on Monday night announced that they will use the first day of Parliament’s return to deliver a ministerial statement outlining how the government’s economic response to COVID-19 has affected the nation’s economy and finances, reports Xinhua news agency.
Frydenberg was due to announce the Federal Budget for financial year 2020/21 in May but last month the government took a decision to release the Budget on October 6.
The statement will be the first official insight into the state of the economy and budget since December’s Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO).
Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Frydenberg and Cormann had previously promised to deliver a budget surplus 2019/20, which would have been the first since the Global Financial Crisis (GFC).
But the government could have abandoned that plan on account of the pandemic and the summer bushfires according to local media.
“The near-term outlook depends critically on this ongoing success and our ability to gradually ease restrictions so people can return to work,” Frydenberg and Cormann said in a statement on Monday night.
“It is reasonable to expect that the pace and scope of any easing in containment measures will become more clear in the period ahead while economic data on the current state of the economy will become more readily available.”
Australia has so far reported 6,721 coronavirus cases, with 83 deaths.