The Morrison government has ruled out lifting the rate of GST to pay for the billions of spending in its attempt to curb the impact of the coronavirus on the economy.
But Treasurer Josh Frydenberg was vague how three stimulus packages and other assist measures worth over $200 billion will be paid for once the pandemic has run its course.
Federal politicians converged on Canberra on Wednesday for a sitting of parliament to pass the $130 billion JobKeeper package, the third major stimulus package.
Asked on Sky News whether the government will raise the 10 per cent GST rate to pay for the COVID-19 spending, Mr Frydenberg said: “We have no plan to do that.”
“It is also important for Australians to understand that through our disciplined economic management over the last six years we have brought the books back into balance for the first time in 11 years,” he said.
“We have been able to spend in a much more targeted way and a more substantial way than many other countries because we had got our books into shape before this crisis hit.”
Pressed again on whether there will be the need to raise taxes, with some estimates that government debt could double to $1 trillion, the treasurer said: “The prime minister and I have made it very clear the spending we have announced will be in place no longer than it has to be.”
“We do not want that spending in place for a day longer than it has to be.”