Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann
Minister for Finance
Leader of the Government in the Senate
Senator for Western Australia
The Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP
Date: Friday, 20 March 2020
The Morrison Government is continuing to take decisive action to protect Australians and the economy from the effects of the coronavirus.
This situation is unprecedented and there remains a high degree of uncertainty surrounding how the virus will evolve and its full economic impacts.
This uncertainty makes it extremely difficult to formulate reliable economic and fiscal estimates over the next few months.
Having regard to this situation, the Government has decided to defer the 2020-21 Budget until 6 October 2020.
This will provide more time for the economic and fiscal impacts of the coronavirus, both in Australia and around the world, to be better understood.
It will also ensure that the 2020-21 Budget can set out the path to economic recovery.
This means the Government will move supply bills in the Parliament next week to ensure the continuity of government in 2020-21.
The Government will also lift the debt ceiling from $600 billion to $850 billion to ensure it has the capacity to deal with the ongoing economic impact of the coronavirus.
In line with the decision to postpone the Budget, the next Intergenerational Report will be released in mid-2021 to ensure there is adequate time to produce long term projections that are based on robust budget estimates.
The Government is committed to protecting the health, wellbeing and livelihoods of Australians.
This decision will allow the Government to maintain its focus on dealing with the immediate health and economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.