“We welcome what is a very comprehensive and broad-based series of initiatives which we believe will have a positive effect on the economy and help underpin the recent increases in consumer and business confidence.

“In particular, the measures to consolidate the economic recovery will provide significant help in boosting business investment, building new infrastructure and creating jobs, all of which will be critical in supporting future growth. The extension of temporary tax relief initiatives for companies looking to invest will help around 98 per cent of Australian companies - small, medium and large - that we know are the lifeblood of the country’s economy.

“We have already seen our business customers in areas as diverse as manufacturing, services, transport, construction and agribusiness respond positively to these measures and we anticipate this will continue as result of the Budget. This can only be good news for businesses, their people and the wider workforce in general given the stimulatory effect in creating more and new jobs right across the economy.

“The monetary and fiscal support provided by the Government and the RBA over the past 15 months has been critical to Australia’s ability to weather the storm of the COVID-19 pandemic, particularly in keeping people in work and promoting further job creation. These measures will continue to support a reduction in unemployment. The additional spending announced on aged care, child care, women’s health and safety, the NDIS and support for single parents in the housing market are all welcome.

“The prospects for a return of migration in 2022 when international borders will re-open is also good news for a country which has built its success on attracting skilled labour from a diverse mix of people from across the globe.

“Above all, our customers are feeling more confident and optimistic about their financial wellbeing in the future than at any time since COVID-19 began. Having spent less, saved more and paid down more debt, consumers now have an estimated savings pool of $160 billion and are well placed to further support the economy from an improved position.”