After a brief budget dalliance with delivery in October thanks to a once in 100-year pandemic, here we are back on track with the normal Budget Day on the second Tuesday in May.
But we are still far from normal.
Josh Frydenberg is about to deliver his third budget and Australia's second pandemic budget.
Uncertainties abound. Debt and deficit are mind-boggling, the international border is all but shut and the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out is far from complete. The economy is riding on a wave of high iron ore prices and a surge in new jobs, but the virus, and any mismanagement of it, could wreck it. A third wave could undo all the sacrifices and gains.
Just how will we pay back some of the hundreds of billions spent to keep the economy afloat during the Covid emergency?
The Morrison government's recovery plan from a short-lived recession is based on staying on the path of targeted spending in a bid to boost productivity and to chip away at surprisingly better than expected rates of unemployment. The mammoth task of budget repair will come later.
For the government, the budget is all about "securing Australia's recovery and keeping Australians safe." Job creation is expected to drive the recovery. The unemployment rate has dropped to 5.6 per cent, but the Treasurer wants a "four in front of it."
But there are also personal and political debts to pay to our older and aged people and the older people to come. And to those older Australians who died neglected and those who were found with maggots in wounds. And those who are desperate for food and attention.
From what has been selectively leaked or dragged out of the government, billions of additional dollars - the "largest in Australian history" - are expected to be directed at aged care and the proposed package of reforms will be the "centrepiece" or "heart" of the budget. Will it be enough? Can the debt to our older people ever be repaid? Reform is desperately needed and nearly 100,000 people are waiting to get home care support.
We will finally see the formal full government response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care. Has the earth shifted for the government on aged care? This response is how we will know.
Billions of dollars are expected to flow into childcare, infrastructure, disability and mental health.
Labor Leader Anthony Albanese sounds caution accusing the government of being "all smirk and mirrors" on delivery.
It is "like a show bag budget - a budget that looks pretty flashy, but when you take it home, only lasts a few days or a few weeks," he said. "There's no lasting legacy from this government except for a trillion dollars of debt."
A $1.7 billion package on childcare is out and a modest health package was released on Mother's Day, but we wait to see the government's full plan to address women's economic and physical security - replete with a 50-page budget statement on women.
The renewed focus on 52 per cent of the population is no doubt a direct result of a series of shocking allegations about the treatment of women in politics in recent months, including the alleged rape of former Liberal staffer Brittany Higgins.
It's been a watershed moment in politics and the despair and rage in the community have barely dissipated. Cynics ask is it even possible for the Morrison government to buy into Australia's own #MeToo movement.
This could well be Josh Frydenberg's last budget. There is a lot riding on it.
Female voters have abandoned the Coalition and responding well to aged care could be a big vote winner, but fundamentally in the midst of the pandemic, Australians want to feel safe and they want the government to protect them.
They appear to like strong border control, but the shutting out of Australian citizens in India has been a step too far, even for some government members.
The Treasurer says the budget will contain an assumption that the international border won't reopen until 2022. With the delays in the vaccine rollout and problems in quarantine - and as much as people and business want life to return to normal - there is no certainty there.
The mid-year economic forecast last December assumed that a COVID-19 vaccine would be available by March 2021, with a complete vaccination program by late 2021. Now that the timelines have been ripped up - and only 2.6 million doses have been administered so far - budget watchers will be checking how this will be revised.
"We're going to maintain those sorts of tough border control settings until it is clearly safe for us to do so," the Finance Minister Simon Birmingham said on Monday.
"Right now, it's a sadly a bit of a grim picture in many parts of the world. And we are seeing continued challenges with many nations increasing the daily reporting of COVID cases. And so that means it will be a very cautious approach."
So is the budget "Covid cautious"? We are about to find out.
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