The Case For Surplus

05 May 2012

Sydney Morning Herald

Next week the Government will hand down its fifth Budget.
It will be a Budget that responds to Australias current challenges and that is appropriate for the economic circumstances both globally and at home.
It will be a Budget that recognises the importance of getting the fiscal settings right.
Australias economy is moving back towards trend growth, we have relatively low unemployment and we are experiencing a once in a generation investment boom.
Given these strengths, returning the budget to surplus is the right thing to do.
It is the best way to continue to give the Reserve Bank the flexibility to move on interest rates, should it see fit and to ensure we are not generating price pressures in the economy.
A surplus positions the nation well in the face of global uncertainty and sends a strong message of confidence to investors both domestically and overseas.
The Gillard Government will lay out its plan to return the budget to surplus on Tuesday, not just for 2012-13 but for the years ahead. Building budget surpluses and taking decisions to improve the sustainability of the budget are critical to ensuring support for generations to come.
Ensuring Australians can make the most of future opportunities is a key priority for this government.
Thats why we are investing in skills and training, and in key infrastructure such as the broadband and rail network. Thats why were encouraging workforce participation and putting in place reforms which spread the benefits of the mining boom.
Thats why were returning the budget to surplus.
Of course, delivering a surplus will not be easy.
We saw significant revenue write-downs in the 2011-12 Budget and mid-year review, and further write-downs in revenue will be made in this Budget.
But Labor will deliver a budget surplus with targeted and responsible savings while continuing to support jobs to help those who need it most.
We will progress on the path to deliver a National Disability Insurance Scheme. We will deliver tax relief through the tripling of the tax-free threshold.
We will deliver a budget surplus because it is the right thing to do for our economy and our future.