Today’s independent 2022 Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (2022 PEFO) confirms the integrity of the Budget delivered on 29 March 2022 and has confirmed that a strong economy is delivering a stronger Budget and a stronger future for Australia. The 2022 PEFO confirms the Budget forecasts that: The Budget bottom line has seen the largest and fastest improvement in over 70 years, with $103 billion of improvements compared with last year. PEFO shows further improvements of $200 million to the Underlying Cash Balance.Australia is on course to stabilise and then reduce debt over the medium term, stating “the deficit is expected to narrow across the forward estimates, reaching 1.6 per cent of GDP by 2025-26.” This compares with 6.5 per cent in 2020-21.Economic growth remains resilient to the shocks of the COVID pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, consistent with the International Monetary Fund’s overnight upgrading of Australia’s growth from 4.1 per cent to 4.2 per cent in 2022.There is “significant momentum in the Australian labour market”, with the unemployment rate expected to fall below 4 per cent this year, for the first time in nearly half a century. It also confirms “Wage growth is expected to pick up steadily.” On Budget Day Anthony Albanese said: “the pre-election fiscal outlook will have different projections from that which is in the Budget tonight.” PEFO demonstrates this is another Labor lie. The Secretaries of Treasury and Finance state that “The major economic parameters used in preparing the 2022 PEFO are unchanged from those presented at the 2022-23 Budget” and the “2022 PEFO adopts the same commodity export price assumptions as Budget.” Given today’s confirmation, Australians should be asking why Labor needs to have a Budget this year on the other side of the election. Labor needs to come clean with Australians on what hidden policies they are planning to sneak out once the “distraction” of the election has come and gone. PEFO shows our record funding for essential services, including hospitals, schools, aged care and the NDIS. We have restored Labor’s defence cuts and are investing more in national security, while delivering income tax relief to hardworking Australians and alleviating cost of living pressures. The integrity of our budget and our commitments contrasts with when Labor was last in Government. The 2013 PEFO exposed Labor’s unrealistic assumptions on future spending growth that amounted to $175 billion of secret spending cuts. Australians cannot trust Labor to manage the economy or the budget. Our credible forecasts and projections stand in clear contrast with Labor. Unlike Anthony Albanese, we are committed to a cap on taxes as a share of the economy, which is reflected in PEFO. Labor would abolish this cap, meaning higher taxes for Australians. Now is not the time to go back to Labor’s discredited ways of the past that delivered a weakening economy, rising unemployment and a rapidly deteriorating Budget position.