Treasury confident about borrowing task

(Australian Associated Press)


The federal government plans to issue even more debt in the years ahead to pay for its budget deficits, but it won’t be short of buyers.

Australia broke records during the coronavirus pandemic when it sold the biggest amount of bonds in a year in its history.

Some $250 billion worth went out to market between March 2020 and March 2021, outpacing the 2016-17 record of $106 billion.

It turned out Australia was well positioned to drum up the money, according to a Treasury article in the budget papers released on Tuesday.

The starting point for the borrowing program was low because of declining budget deficits, so supply was low while the interest rates on offer were competitive.

The debt was also backed by Australia’s top line triple-A credit rating.

“The events of last year, while unforeseen and unprecedented, are reflective of the depth and strength of the Australian government’s access to global funding markets,” Treasury said.

“Australia remains well positioned.”

By the end of this year, there will be about $829 billion worth of long and short dated bonds – or IOUs – on issue.

By 2023/24 that will rise to a never-before-seen $1.13 trillion, equivalent to 50 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product or economic output.

The borrowing program is run by the Australian Office of Financial Management.


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