Will we ever see a surplus? Treasurer refuses to answer
The federal Treasurer is refusing to say whether the government’s forecasted budget surplus will still be delivered this year.
The mid-year budget update in December downgraded the surplus to $5 billion dollars this financial year but will be impacted by half-a-billion-dollars promised to the bushfire recovery effort.
Treasurer Frydenberg repeatedly refused to say if the surplus will still be delivered, claiming “it’s never been a trophy for the Cabinet”.
He tells Chris Smith the government is focused on responding to the crisis.
Chris Smith: Will we ever see a surplus in this country?
Treasurer Frydenberg: Our first priority has always been delivering the services to the people who need it most.
Chris Smith: So a surplus doesn’t matter any more?
Treasurer Frydenberg: A surplus has never been an end in itself. It’s never been a trophy for the cabinet. What it has been about is Australia living within its means.
Chris Smith: Do you want a surplus by May or by the following year? When will we get a surplus?
Treasurer Frydenberg: I want to deliver the services to the people who need it most.
Chris Smith: I’m not going to get an answer to this, am I?
Treasurer Frydenberg: You’ll have to tune in on budget night in May.
Click PLAY below to hear the full interview