Economists have increasingly been arguing that Australia needs to deploy government investments to support the economy. Andrew Charlton, a former Labor government economic advisor, argued last year that “the world is moving to embrace fiscal policy in almost every country – except it seems Australia.”

Here’s an extended excerpt of Morrison’s pre-released remarks ahead of today’s speech:

Our first priority for budget repair remains controlling growth in expenditure. It is not sustainable for Australia to continue financing our recurrent expenditure by borrowings.

Australians understanding taking out a mortgage to pay for their home is a wise investment for their future. But they also know that putting your everyday expenses on the credit card is not a good idea. It doesn’t end well.

This is basically the difference between good and bad debt.

The same is true for Government.

It can be very wise for Governments to borrow, especially while rates are low, to lock in longer term financing and invest in major growth producing infrastructure assets, such as transport or energy infrastructure. But to rack up government debt to pay for welfare payments, Medicare costs or other everyday expenses, is not a good idea. This is a critical part of ensuring that Government lives within its means.

The way we have done budgets in the past at the Commonwealth level does not currently make the distinction between good and bad debt.

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