Australian Treasurer says budget draft not to be vote-buying exercise

08:45, April 19, 2010      

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Australian Treasurer Wayne Swan said Saturday the upcoming budget draft in May will not have any traditional election-year handouts and promotes long-term economic revival.

In setting out the economic future, Swan said there will be some recovery and a lift in tax revenue after the global financial crisis, raising expectations of an earlier return to surplus, but he dismissed as plain "silly" suggestions the budget deficit may turn to surplus as early as 2011-12.

"This isn't going to be a usual political pre-election budget or a vote-buying exercise," Swan said in an interview with The Weekend Australian.

"What this is really about is converting the economic success during the global recession into enduring gains so it's really got this longer-term focus, and part of that is making improvements to our health system while sticking to our fiscal strategy."

"We also have to shift in focus from the recession into building a post-crisis economy."

While recognizing there will be some improvement in the May 11 budget bottom line, the Treasurer has been vowing not to spend on election handouts and pledging to stick to the aim of funding new spending proposals, such as the 3 billion dollars (2.8 billion U.S. dollars) extra being offered to the states for health reform, from budget cuts, The Weekend Australian said.



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