July 24, 2020, 11.00 AM

CANBERRA, KOMPAS.com - Responding to the coronavirus pandemic has cost the Australian government $61 billion in debt in the last fiscal year.

The government expects another $131 billion in debt will add a dent in the national budget in the current year.

This would be Australia’s biggest deficit since World War II, based on treasury figures presented on July 23.

Read also: Indonesia and Australia Move Ahead with Beef and Livestock Trade

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg revealed the country’s weak economic outlook based on increased government spending to stimulate the economy and declining tax revenue.

The red-zone outlook is a stark contrast to the conservative government’s forecast in December 2019 in which Australia would have had a $3.6 billion surplus in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2020.

Had the forecast come to fruition, it would have made it the country’s first surplus in 12 years.

"Coronavirus has had a significant impact on the budget bottom line,” Frydenberg said.

Read also: Australia’s Rp 61 Billion Plan to Aid Indonesia’s Coronavirus Pandemic Fight

“There is significant uncertainty which means that it would not be possible at this point to make credible forecasts and projections beyond what we present to you today,” he added.

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