The state budget unveiled yesterday has been devised to instill confidence and continue to drive the state's recovery from the pandemic.
While Victoria's economy and the accompanying unemployment rate have both been battered throughout 2020, the big spending budget blueprint unveiled by Treasurer Tim Pallas underlines the government's belief it needs to spend its way through the mire to ensure our recovery is swift and sustainable.
More 2020-21 budget news:
In the lead up to the budget, commentators were quick to reflect that in a year like no other, we should expect a budget like no other, and most would not have been surprised to see that prophecy fulfilled.
Accordingly, the state government will send Victoria spiralling into record levels of debt and deficit to spend approximately $50 billion in the next four years to lift Victoria out of the dire COVID-19 recession none of us saw coming just a year ago.
Major investments in transport infrastructure, social housing, broad tax relief, support for first home buyers, education facility upgrades and employment and other business support measures point to a government desire to do more for those who have less or who need help the most.
Labor wants an economic environment that supports an employment program to help the state's rebuilding process and give hundreds of thousands of Victorians impacted by the coronavirus pandemic a fresh start.
There's no doubt many of the locally specific projects are yet to emerge due to the traditional manner in which funding is identified for programs first, and local projects second, save for the bevy of strategic pre-budget announcements we have already seen.
The record debt is something we had to expect, and this will eventually require any number of prudent measures to rein in the state's debt.
But for now, there's a belief that the relative strength in the state's balance sheet and our AAA-credit rating will help guide the government's efforts to get Victoria back on track in the years ahead.
Time, and our ongoing fight against COVID-19 have a big say in how all that unfolds.
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