In six days time, Tony Abbott will have to explain to the Australian people what extra cuts he will make to deliver on this policy to return the budget back to surplus next year a year ahead of the Government.
On the Sunrise program this morning Mr Hockey confirmed his declaration on Wednesday wasnt just talk, but a commitment the Coalition will deliver on:
Tony Burke: I haven't gone after you on saying that you could get the budget into surplus this year, this year. Joe Hockey: Well do it, well make the hard yards.The onus is now on Tony Abbott to deliver to the Australian people what Mr Hockey has committed to and put forward alternative savings next Thursday night.
Failure to release details of this new surplus commitment will confirm that Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey have failed the test of economic credibility once more.
If the Coalition were in government, it would be in deficit every single year of the budget estimates as a consequence of their successive failures on savings measures.
The $10.6 billion black hole Treasury and Finance found following last years federal election has been compounded by a floods response package littered with double counting, and billions of dollars of saves being blocked in the Senate - all adding to the mess that is Tony Abbotts budget balance sheet today.
Mr Abbott and Mr Hockey have six days to outline to the Australian people how they are going to deliver on their new commitment to bring the budget back to surplus next year and the clock is ticking.
Simply making hollow promises through glib statements isnt going to cut it.
The Government has a responsible, comprehensive and detailed plan to return the budget to surplus by 2012-13, and we will make this clear once again to the Australian people on Budget night.