Mr Hockey has been saying for a week now that the Opposition could return the Budget in surplus in 2011-12.
On morning television on Friday, when asked about his commitment to get the Budget into surplus this year, he said: Well do it, well make the hard yards.
On Sunday, he said he would try to get the Budget back in surplus a year earlier once he knew what the Budget numbers were. Well tonight Mr Hockey and Mr Abbott will have those numbers, and they can start work on explaining their commitment to the Australian people.
Tony Abbott was asked this morning if the Opposition would outline plans to get the Budget back into surplus before the Government, as Joe Hockey has been promising:
ABBOTT: Weve already, in the lead up to the election, announced $50 billion worth of savings over the forward estimates period. That would have produced an $11 billion improvement to the Governments bottom line.The truth is Treasury and Finance found a $10.6 billion black hole in the Oppositions costings.
This Government has a clear plan to return to surplus in 2012-13 and we will explain that economic plan to the nation tonight.
Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey cannot say they will return the Budget to surplus a year earlier and then not announce a single additional savings measure to achieve this.
And they cannot put forward last years costings for this years Budget. Even their own flawed 2010 election costings projected they would bring the Budget back to surplus in 2012-13 (p3):
The Australian people deserve to know how both political parties propose to return the Budget to surplus. We will be upfront with Australians about how we will achieve this in 2012-13.