The budget black hole created by the coronavirus pandemic has been revealed as welfare recipients prepare for less support.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Friday said the federal budget deficit hit $85.3 billion in 2019/20 as the government wrestled with the initial impact of the virus.
He said Australia had approached the pandemic from a position of economic strength, having in December forecast a $5 billion surplus.
“Yes, the hole in the Australian economy is significant. Yes, the road back will be long, bumpy and hard,” Mr Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra.
The figure sets ...