The Australian 50% of GDP debt


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During the parliamentary debate about the $130 billion JobKeeper legislation, Anthony Albanese said:

“We are headed for a trillion-dollar debt. It is a bill that will saddle a generation.”

It is actually similar to another debt in the past, although much smaller.

The highest level of government debt that Australia has ever had, was accumulated during World War Two, where the debt was about 120% of GDP.

The current debt is only about 44% of GDP,  but is expected to reach about 50%.


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Current estimates show that Australia’s debt will hit $1 trillion by 2022, about 50% of GDP,  a much smaller debt than after WW2, and paid off by the children of that generation, some of whom died due to the current COVID crisis.

The debt after WW2 was cleared, by taxpayers, over about 30 years. Many of those taxpayers being the parents or grandparents of those who might be paying of the current, but smaller debt.

Anthony Albanese’s own parents would probably have been in the generation that was saddled with paying off that debt.

A quick view of the Australian Debt to GDP over the last 25 years.

Australian Debt to GDP

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