Fiscal sustainability


Theme: Sustainable
Dimension: Resilient and sustainable nation


All levels of government gross debt as a share of GDP

Why does this matter

Fiscal sustainability improves the economic wellbeing of Australians by supporting a strong and stable economy and ensuring the sustained provision of essential government services. A sustainable fiscal position enables government to respond to changes in economic conditions and buffer the economy and our people against adverse shocks.

Has there been progress

One measure of fiscal sustainability is the government gross debt to GDP ratio across all levels of government, which captures the amount Australian governments owe. The level of the government gross debt as a share of GDP has risen significantly over recent decades to 54 per cent in 2021‑22, reflecting the impacts of global shocks, a pandemic, and intensifying structural spending pressures on the budget. Despite this, government gross debt in Australia remains well below debt levels in many other advanced economies.

The Australian Government maintains a triple-A credit rating from all three major credit rating agencies, meaning it is considered a safe and reliable borrower.

The government’s responsible economic and fiscal management is helping to deliver a stronger, more resilient, and more sustainable fiscal position. The government is directing most of the improvements in tax receipts to budget repair, restraining spending growth, improving the quality of spending, tax reforms, and focusing investments on building the productive capacity of the economy.

As a result of this responsible fiscal management, a budget surplus is now expected for 2022‑23 – the first surplus budget in 15 years.

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