Skip to content

Promoting fiscal sustainability

Overview

Our principal strategic priority is to assist the Government in the execution of its fiscal strategy to maintain the economic prosperity and welfare of Australians, as mandated under the Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 (the Charter).

Treasury’s role is to provide high-quality advice to portfolio ministers in the formulation of the fiscal strategy, budget position, and in relation to government taxation policy and implementation of taxation legislation. This includes delivering sound assessments of domestic and international economic conditions and the economic outlook to underpin the Government’s fiscal estimates, and advice on the macroeconomic opportunities and consequences of policy options. Ongoing fiscal reform to maintain a sustainable fiscal position is challenging as many variables, including interest rates, commodity prices and global events, are outside of the Government’s direct control.

Australia has a relatively strong fiscal position by international standards. Long-term challenges remain as the economy continues its transition away from a mining investment boom to broader-based growth. Those challenges include managing historically high levels of government debt, effectively delivering financial assistance to State and Territory Governments, and working towards ensuring fiscal settings across government are sustainable, efficient and effectively targeted.

We also add to public understanding of revenue and fiscal matters by providing high-quality communications to support the Budget.

Priorities

In 2018–19, and over the forward estimates, we will:

  • Co-ordinate the preparation of the Commonwealth Government Budget and other documents required under the Charter, including the Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) and the Final Budget Outcome, to a high level of quality, timeliness and security.
  • Co-ordinate the preparation of the Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO), to a high level of quality, timeliness and security.
  • Provide high-quality, influential and timely advice to the Government on:
    • The economic outlook.
    • Fiscal strategy and the budget position.
    • Tax-related issues.
    • Commonwealth-State relations.
    • Spending proposals.
    • Australia’s retirement income system.
  • Manage and deliver the Treasury portfolio legislative program in accordance with the Government’s priorities by developing the Government’s tax and policy decisions into law, including support for the Government’s superannuation legislative program and housing policy.
  • Support efficient and effective Commonwealth-State relations by maintaining high-quality relationships, ongoing custodianship of the payments and Intergovernmental Agreement on Federal Financial Relations framework, and making timely and accurate payments to the states and territories.
  • Develop and embed a peer-reviewed operational overlapping generations model of Australia, in order to strengthen our ability to analyse the macroeconomic opportunities and consequences of policy options and articulate the model’s capabilities within Treasury and to other relevant stakeholders.
  • Develop and embed a peer-reviewed operational macroeconometric model of Australia to support the provision of sound assessments of the economic outlook.
  • Draw on a range of statistical and administrative data sets, provide revenue forecasts and estimates of the macroeconomic, fiscal and distributional impacts of policy changes.