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Treasurer confident debt burden will reduce under his watch

Chris Kenny
Article image for Treasurer confident debt burden will reduce under his watch

The Federal Treasurer is confident Australia can reduce its huge debt burden, as the economy maintains a strong position.

Today, the federal government announced the budget deficit is at its lowest level in a decade, at $10 billion.

That’s $19 billion better than what was expected.

The fiscal improvements are a result of a stronger economy and jobs growth, which has seen income and company tax receipts increase.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg tells Chris Kenny the government is on track to reach a balanced budget by 2019/2020, not any sooner.

“We’ve created 350,000 jobs over the 2017/18 year. More women are in the workforce, more seniors are in the workforce, more young people are in the workforce,” he says.

“And when more people come into the workforce, they’ve obviously paying more tax on the income side and they’re also increasing their consumption and that is making companies more profitable.

“We’ve seen both improvements on the receipts side of the ledger but we’ve also made savings on the spending side because less people have needed welfare support, because more people are in jobs.”

Despite the positive news, the latest budget figures reveal net debt is up to more than $342 billion.

When asked whether the budget will ever get to a position of no net debt, Mr Frydenberg says “good fiscal discipline” and a “growing economy” can get us there.

“I think we can, over time, reduce our debt position and we’re starting to do that.”

Click PLAY below for the full interview

The Federal Treasurer has also backed the Prime Minister over comments he made today about introducing a special day for celebrating our nation’s indigenous history.

“I think it’s an important point to make, which is that our first Australians, our Indigenous Australias, have achieved an enormous amount over time and we need to celebrate that.”

Chris Kenny