Fiscal/Budgetary Policy


Budgetary policy is also known as fiscal policy. It refers to the government’s use of its budget to achieve particular outcomes in the country, where the budget is the major fiscal document released each May, outlining information for the next financial year plus the following three or more years. It contains details of all income (or revenue) and expenditure (outlays) of the federal government. Budgetary policy can be defined as the manipulation of governments receipts and outlays in order to assist with the achievement of its economic and social objectives for Australia. As with all policies, the overriding objective is to improve the welfare or living standards of all Australians, and/or to achieve the most efficient allocation of the nation’s resources. While the budget is released on an annual basis, the government can (and does) attempt to change the level (or composition) of income or expenditure at any time. These measures that are introduced between budgets (i.e. within the year) are sometimes referred to as ‘mini budgets’. For example, the floods and cyclone during 2011 resulted in a number of budgetary measures that were designed to assist with the reconstruction effort. Similarly, a few months after the handing down of the 2013-14 budget in May 2013, the new Liberal Government was elected and announced a number of new policy decisions. For details relating to the latest budget, click on the box in the top right hand corner of this page. What are the Australian Government’s specific budgetary policy goals?