The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 (the Charter) provides for the Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary to the Department of Finance and Deregulation (the Secretaries) to release publicly a Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report (PEFO) within ten days of the issue of the writ for a general election. Such a writ was issued on 19 July 2010.
The purpose of the PEFO is to provide updated information on the economic and fiscal outlook. The information in the report takes into account, to the fullest extent possible, all Government decisions made before the issue of the writ and all other circumstances that may have a material effect on the fiscal and economic outlook.
In recognition of the limited time available to prepare the PEFO, the Charter provides that information which is unchanged from that provided in an earlier economic and fiscal outlook report may be summarised in the PEFO.
The 2010 PEFO updates the estimates contained in the 2010-11 Budget and the Economic Statement. Like the Economic Statement, the 2010 PEFO takes into account information contained in the March quarter national accounts. In addition, it includes all decisions taken by the Government since the 2010-11 Budget.
Consistent with the Charter’s requirements, the PEFO:
- provides an updated fiscal outlook;
- presents the updated economic forecasts which underpin the revised expenses, capital and revenue estimates;
- summarises the changes in the expenses, capital and revenue estimates;
- provides in Appendix A a summary of the external reporting standards used in the preparation of the PEFO and updated financial statements;
- lists in Appendix B the policy decisions taken by the Government since the 2010-11 Budget;
- updates in Appendix C the general and specific risks to the budget forward estimates for material changes in these risks since the 2010-11 Budget; and
- discusses in Appendix D the sensitivity of the budget forward estimates to changes in major economic parameters.