The Charter of Budget Honesty Act 1998 (the Charter) provides for the Secretary to the Treasury and the Secretary of the Department of Finance (the Secretaries) to release publicly a Pre‑election Economic and Fiscal Outlook report (PEFO) within 10 days of the issue of the writs for a general election. Such writs were issued on 16 May 2016.
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 writs for the election and all other circumstances that may have a material effect on the economic and fiscal outlook.
The Charter provides that where there is information unchanged from that set out in full in an earlier budget report, the PEFO may summarise and state this information is unchanged rather than repeat it. As the writs for the 2016 election were issued shortly after the release of the 2016-17 Budget, this PEFO provides reference to information published in the 2016-17 Budget where it is unchanged, rather than repeat it in full.
Consistent with the Charter, the PEFO includes:
- fiscal estimates and projections for the current financial year and the following four financial years 2016-17, 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20;
- economic and other assumptions for the current financial year and the following four financial years used in preparing these updated fiscal estimates;
- discussion of the sensitivity of updated fiscal estimates to changes in those economic and other assumptions and references the detailed analysis in the 2016‑17 Budget that remains unchanged;
- an updated set of financial statements and summary of the external reporting standards used in the preparation of the PEFO (Appendix A);
- a list of new policy decisions taken by the Government since the 2016-17 Budget, including decisions that were taken but not announced at that time (Appendix B). The PEFO does not include the impact of commitments made in the context of the current election campaign; and
- an updated statement of the risks that may have a material effect on the fiscal outlook (Appendix C).