Budget now needs to move to surplus and stay that way
The pre-budget review should conclude that the economy is strong and giveaways are not needed
Last Thursday, the Cabinet met to consider the state of the economy in advance of a formal review to be published later this month. The purpose is to usher in the pre-budget speculation season, on which large volumes of ink must be spilled over the next three months.
If the review is rooted in reality, it will draw two conclusions: (i) The economy is in the fifth straight year of a decent recovery, and (ii) this provides no basis for budget giveaways.
Budget 2018 is due early in October. It will be, and it should be, another low-key affair with only minor changes in taxation and spending, which will not discourage the pre-budget speculation industry.