Purpose: This paper explores how neoliberalism restrains the ability of governments to respond to crises through budgetary action. It examines the immediate budgetary responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by the Australian government and explores how the conditions created by prior neoliberal policies have limited these responses.
Design/methodology/approach: A review and examination of the prior literature on public budgeting and new public management are provided. The idea of a “neoliberal straitjacket” is used to frame the current budgetary and economic situation in Australia.
Findings: The paper examines the chronology of Australia's budgetary responses to the economic and health crisis created by COVID-19. These responses have taken the form of tax breaks and a temporary payment scheme for individuals made unemployed by the pandemic.
Practical implications: The insights gained from this paper may help with future policy developments and promote future research on similar crises.
Originality/value: The analysis of Australia's policies in dealing with the pandemic may offer insights for other countries struggling to cope with the fiscal consequences of COVID-19.
|Journal||Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 20 Aug 2020|
- Australia government
- Public budgets