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Australian Budget Leaves Embattled Government With Few Easy Wins

  • Pre-election budgets are usually a chance to spend on voters
  • But down in polls, government also confronts faster inflation
Sydney, Australia.

Sydney, Australia.

Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg

Australia’s center-right government is facing a difficult pre-election budget, trying to both provide relief to voters from surging prices while promising to repair the nation’s pandemic-hit finances.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s Liberal-National coalition is trailing the opposition Labor party in opinion polls and must hold an election by May 21. Soaring commodity prices and falling unemployment are forecast to help narrow the budget deficit to A$76.9 billion ($57.6 billion) in the year through June 2023.