Federal Budget 2022: Treasurer Josh Frydenberg waves off criticism Budget cash splash is bid to buy votes

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg has waved off criticism his government is trying to buy votes with a pre-election cash splash, insisting billions of dollars of cost of living relief won’t significantly drive up inflation.

In an interview with 9News political editor Chris Uhlmann on Tuesday night, Mr Frydenberg said the Budget was a “balancing act” between acting on families’ concerns and strengthening the economy.

Watch the full interview in the video player at the top of the page.

But he denied the government was simply channelling the tens of billions of dollars in economic windfall brought on by higher commodities prices and lower-than-expected unemployment into election sweeteners, such as a $2.7 billion fuel excise cut and a $250 cash payment to millions of Australians.

“We’ve had to take decisions to increase funding for the COVID response,” he said.

“That’s, of course, required this cost of living relief that will come at a very important time for Australian families. 

“And then we’re investing in this Budget and our long term economic plan to create more jobs with further investments and infrastructure, in skills in the digital economy.”

Mr Frydenberg said halving the fuel excise would reduce inflation and all the cost of living measures put together accounted for less than half a percent of Australia’s GDP.

The Treasurer who once declared the Budget was “back in black”, now settles for a “material improvement” in debt, with no prediction of a return to surplus across the forward estimates.

Read all of 9News.com.au’s Federal Budget 2022 coverage here:

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