On the fiscal narrative, the government has shifted the focus from the budget balance alone, to broader considerations of fiscal sustainability.
The poor structural position of the budget is now up in lights. The National Disability Insurance Scheme and interest payments on debt - but also defence, health, and aged care - have been highlighted in the leadup to the budget, and get plenty of coverage in the budget itself.
But with 40 per cent of revenue coming from individuals’ income tax, the vulnerabilities are there as well. While not easy by any means, the expenditure side of the budget is probably less complicated territory for future budget measures.
The foundations for a more formal budget framework around wellbeing have been established. Fiscal policy has always been about distributional issues as much as getting the overall balance in the macroeconomy right. A wellbeing framework is really putting more formal structures around what was already there.
But with governments in general struggling to step away from the enhanced role in the economy they took through the pandemic - and issues such as climate and housing affordability very challenging for parts of the economy and society - it’s hard to argue against having a more formal structure to assess the budget’s contribution against broader wellbeing metrics.
This budget resets quite a lot, and that will become more apparent over time.
Richard Yetsenga is Chief Economist at ANZ