While Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have likely secured their place in Australian fiscal history as our biggest-spending government since World War II, they've quietly notched up another record for big government as well.
In the June quarter this year, the Commonwealth raised a new record of taxation revenue, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), with tax revenue hitting $140 billion in the quarter. That compares to just $118 billion in the June quarter last year, which obviously was dramatically affected by the pandemic. But in the June quarter of 2019, a much more normal fiscal year, tax revenue was just $127 billion.
These aren't inflation adjusted numbers of course, but let's look at how Morrison and Frydenberg stack up as tax collectors in relation to the overall size of the economy using like-for-like numbers across the years. This is June quarter tax collections versus June quarter GDP numbers: