The Australian Government has released the Final Budget Outcome for 2020-21.

The Australian Government general government sector recorded an underlying cash deficit of $134.2 billion in 2020-21. This compares with a forecast deficit of $213.7 billion at the time of the 2020-21 Budget, and a forecast deficit of $161.0 billion at the time of the 2021-22 Budget.

The improvement in the underlying cash balance was the result of higher total receipts of $56.1 billion and $20.1 billion, and lower total payments of $23.3 billion and $6.7 billion when compared to the original estimates in the 2020-21 Budget and the 2021-22 Budget respectively.

Net debt was $592.2 billion (28.6 per cent of GDP), at the end of 2020-21, which was $25.3 billion lower than forecast at the time of the 2021-22 Budget and $111.0 billion less than what was originally estimated in the 2020-21 Budget.

In a media release, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said this showed Australia’s economy was resilient and well-positioned to bounce back from the significant challenges brought about by COVID-19.

“By providing an unprecedented $311 billion in economic and health support to Australian households and businesses, the Morrison Government ensured Australia avoided a severe economic contraction, as seen in other parts of the world.”

Despite Australia’s increased debt levels, Josh Frydenberg and Simon Birmingham said they remained lower than many comparable nations, with the average of gross debt to GDP ratios for G7 economies being above 100 per cent of GDP.

The 2020-21 Final Budget Outcome document can be found on the Budget website.

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