Have you had a chance to run through Treasurer Scott Morrison’s budget yet?
It’s packed with a little something for everyone. And surely not cobbled together with a pending election in mind.
According to the government’s figures, even with the planned tax cuts, the budget deficit in 2018/19 should come in at $14.5 billion. A small surplus of $2.2 billion is forecast for 2019/20.
It would be good to see any kind of return to surplus. Though even under the rosiest of predictions, it’s going to take a long time for the government to climb its way out of the half-trillion-plus dollar debt hole they’ve dug for Aussie taxpayers.
The latest figures show federal government debt will be ‘only’ $558 billion in 10 years. That was forecast to be $684 billion less than six months ago.
Let’s hope six months from now doesn’t see an equal, or larger, downgrade for those projections.
Even if you had a close review of the budget, there’s one expenditure you probably missed.
Budgeting for the blockchain
While the amount is small — $700,000 — the implications are far reaching.
As CoinDesk reported:
‘“The Government will provide $0.7 million in 2018-19 for the Digital Transformation Agency to investigate areas where blockchain technology could offer the most value for Government services,” the budget document states…
‘[I]n late 2017, the government announced its plans to provide more than AU$8 million worth of grants to a blockchain-based smart utilities pilot project.’
With bitcoin-mania having subsided, you’ll hear a lot of naysayers proclaiming the end to cryptos is nigh. Even blockchain detractors are coming out of the woodwork, proclaiming the distributed ledger technology isn’t all it’s been hyped up to be.
Admittedly, there’s been plenty of hype.
But when the Aussie government is handing out $8 million worth of blockchain related grants — and budgeting an additional $700,000 for its Digital Transformation Agency — it tells us this technology is only just getting rolling.
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