PM Scott Morrison (R) has postponed handing down the federal budget until October 6. Image by Lukas Coch/AAP PHOTOS

Health

Virus delays federal budget until October

2020-03-21 14:53:52

Scott Morrison has postponed the federal budget until October because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The government was due to deliver the budget in mid-May but has pushed it back as Australia responds to the spreading disease.

The states and territories have agreed to push back their own budgets after a meeting of the national cabinet on Friday.

“It was agreed today that putting budgets together at this time, with the great uncertainty that exists, is not something that any commonwealth or state government should be doing,” the prime minister said in Canberra.

“As a result, we have already decided that we will not be now handing down a budget until the first Tuesday in October.

“States and territories will be working to similar timetables.”

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the virus was creating too much uncertainty to craft a budget.

“Forecasting for budgets is difficult at the best of times, let alone when we’re in the midst of a global pandemic,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters.

“It’s important that we are able to deliver a budget at a time where there is more certainty about the economic environment.”