2020 Intergenerational Report to be released late, in breach of Charter of Budget Honesty

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The Treasurer has announced ahead of time that the 2020 Intergenerational Report will be released in July, which is a breach of the Charter of Budget Honesty.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced – on the same day as he released MYEFO – that the fifth Intergenerational Report would be released in July 2020, which is outside the legislated timeframe.

The Charter of Budget Honesty Act requires the Treasurer to publicly release intergenerational reports withing 5 years of the release of the last report. Depending when in July the report is released, it will be around three months outside this legislated time period.

The 2015 Intergenerational Report was roughly a month late, being released in March 2015. The 2010 report was released by Labor over two years early.

The Intergenerational Reports were started when Peter Costello was Treasurer, with the aim of considering long term budgetary issues and identifying emerging issues around the ageing population.

Frydenberg said that, as the purpose of the report is to “supplement the annual Budget papers”, the Government intends to release it after the 2020/21 Budget – likely to be held in May – “so that it can build upon the 10 year medium-term projections that will be published in the Budget”.

“The Intergenerational Report will also be informed by the findings of the Retirement Income Review, which is due to report in June 2020,” said the Treasurer.

The Retirement Income Review is tasked with looking into the retirement systems, but won’t be giving recommendations – instead providing a ‘fact base’ for policy.

The independent review of the Australian Public Service recommended that the Government commission a review of the Charter of Budget Honesty Act, including the “role of the Intergenerational Report as a key source of national data to inform government deliberations”. However this recommendation was recently rejected by the Government, which says it considers the Act to be “operating effectively”.

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