Economic analysis

Picturing budget speeches

How different is one budget speech from another?

How different is one budget speech from another?

Thanks to the World Wide Web, we have easy access to successive federal budget speeches, going back to 1995, with the exception of 2002, in which no budget was tabled.

While governments tend to distance themselves from their predecessors, and attempt to establish their own unique tone and approach in presenting their revenue and spending plans, certain key words are virtually constant from year to year. As these word clouds show, it’s often in the little words that we see subtle differences, perhaps indicating the spirit of the times and the perspective of a given government.

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Methodology: The text of all 16 available budget speeches was individually entered into Wordle to generate these unique word-clouds. In each case the same format and font were used; colour was varied only for visual interest.

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