Australia’s $10.1 billion budget deficit revealed

AUSTRALIA'S budget is in a "better than expected" position as new economic figures show the nation has achieved its smallest deficit in a decade.

Despite the boost, the federal government is sticking to its plan of returning the budget to balance in 2019-20.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced today the nation's cash deficit was $19.3 billion lower than expected for 2017-18, putting the final deficit at $10.1 billion for the financial year.

Economic growth and a record number of Australians in jobs also saw $13.4 billion more tax revenue than expected flow into government coffers in 2017-18.

Asked today if the boost would allow the government to get the budget back into black sooner than next year, Mr Frydenberg said: "We are still on track to come back to balance in 2019-20."

 

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaking at a doorstop at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg speaking at a doorstop at Parliament House in Canberra. Picture: Kym Smith

 

It comes after the government last week announced it would inject an extra $4.6 billion into private schools to be delivered over a decade.

At the time, Mr Frydenberg said the nation's economic growth could help pay for the funding deal, indicating the government would partly use the economic boost to deliver pre-election sweeteners.

Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said today's figures showed the government's plan for economic growth was working.

Mathias Cormann at Government House in Canberra. Picture: AAP
Mathias Cormann at Government House in Canberra. Picture: AAP

 

"The economy is stronger, the economic growth outlook is stronger, employment growth has been much stronger than anticipated, and indeed the Budget is in a much stronger position than was anticipated when we delivered the 2017-18 Budget," he said.

"Stronger growth and more jobs, of course, means better opportunities for Australian families to get ahead. It also means more revenue for Government on the back of higher company tax receipts and higher personal income tax receipts."



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