ANZ chief economist Justin Fabo reviews the Federal Budget at a C.ex Coffs luncheon. Photo: Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate
ANZ chief economist Justin Fabo reviews the Federal Budget at a C.ex Coffs luncheon. Photo: Trevor Veale / Coffs Coast Advocate Trevor Veale

Easy Street is not on the budget map

NOT only was there little in the Federal budget for the Coffs Coast, but what was there could yet hurt the area.

That was the view of the ANZ's chief economist Justin Fabio who was in the city on Thursday to update local business leaders on the Australian economy.

Mr Fabio said while the prospects were good for NSW, Coffs Harbour was still lagging below the average when it came to housing starts and employment.

He found some positives in recent improvements in house prices, but was less than optimistic about the impact of the Hockey budget on an area with high levels of welfare dependence and youth unemployment.

"The budget could unduly hit hard here," Mr Fabio said.

He conceded changes to medical co-payments will have an impact locally, but said they will most likely be felt later rather than immediately.

Mr Fabio said that there was actually little in the budget specifically for the Coffs Coast, and no new money when it came to infrastructure spending.

"There will still be a reasonable amount of spending on the highway and that will be good for the local economy."

He said it was "as clear as day" the budget had been structured to force the states to raise the GST, which "is a very efficient way to collect tax."

He also said that while the deficit levy "will only impact a few hundred thousand Australians for a few years and they can afford it," the budget's impact on household spending will be obvious in 2015/16 and peak in 2017/18.