Australian Coalition vows to deliver 6.2 bln AUD budget surplus in 2012-13

16:37, August 18, 2010      

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Australian Coalition government would deliver a budget surplus of 6.2 billion Australian dollars ( 5.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2012-13, if the party is elected on Aug. 21, Opposition Treasury spokesman Joe Hockey announced on Wednesday.

The Coalition's projected surplus beats the Labor government's forecast surplus of 3.5 billion dollars (3.2 billion U.S. dollars) in the same year, and would rise to 7.3 billion dollars (6.6 billion U.S. dollars) in 2013-14.

The coalition released its election costings on Wednesday, verified by an independent accounting firm, after refusing to allow Treasury to check them.

Front-benchers Andrew Robb said the Coalition had budgeted for recurrent expenditure of 37.9 billion dollars (34.1 billion U.S. dollars) over the forward estimates.

That included 8.8 billion dollars (7.9 billion U.S. dollars) on paid parental leave; 1.5 billion dollars (1.35 billion U.S. dollars) on education measures including 30 new technical colleges and education tax rebates; 6 billion dollars (5.4 billion U.S. dollars) on health, including 2,000 hospital beds, 800 mental health and 300 aged care beds; 2.5 billion dollars (2.25 billion U. S. dollars) on the environment including its direct action plan and the 1,500-strong green army.

On tax, the Coalition would get rid of the new mining tax for 10.5 billion dollars (9.4 billion U.S. dollars) and would reduce cut company tax by 1.5 percent.

The Coalition had also recurrent savings over the forward estimates of 49.4 billion dollars (44.46 billion U.S. dollars), which represented 5 percent of overall government spending.

It included savings related to the scrapping of the mining tax and the national broadband network, saving 18.4 billion dollars ( 16.6 billion U.S. dollars).

"It is responsible, doable and it will not touch services," Robb told reporters in the press conference held in Sydney on Wednesday.

A short time earlier federal Treasurer Wayne Swan said the Opposition's delays to the presentation of costings had "simply descended into farce".

It really has turned into a slapstick comedy," Swan said in a press conference in Canberra.

Swan again called on the opposition to submit their election promises to Treasury under the charter of budget honesty, which the party have so far declined to do.



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