Australia is set to post its first budget surplus in 15 years on Tuesday as its coffers fill with tax revenue from rising commodity prices and wages, a political victory for the center-left Labor government since it took power last May.
The budget projects a slight surplus of about A$4 billion ($2.71 billion) for the fiscal year ending in June, a drastic change from the A$36.9 billion deficit projected in October, according to excerpts seen by Reuters.
Disability estimates for subsequent years have also been revised downward.
According to the excerpts, the government is returning 82% of revenue increases to the budget, with $17.8 billion in savings and repairs.
This brings the total savings from the two budgets submitted so far by the Labor government to A$40 billion.
“Our responsible economic management is based on disciplined spending, redirecting large savings to other priorities and small but important fiscal changes,” said Treasury Secretary Jim Chalmers.
“We’re putting the budget on a more sustainable footing at the same time as providing cost-of-living relief and investing in the future.”
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government announced A$14.6 billion in cost-of-living relief, which Chalmers promised would not make inflation worse as the central bank raises interest rates to contain rising prices.
The government will also allocate A$11.3 billion to raise pensions for the elderly and provide financial support for single parents.
($1 = 1.4758 Australian dollars)