The Liberal Party has removed the $35 ‘Back in Black’ mug from its merch store, as a surplus looks increasingly unlikely

  • A $35 mug celebrating the inclement return to surplus has disappeared from the Liberal Party’s online merchandise store.
  • The ‘Back in Black’ mug was available as recently as March 7, but has disappeared as the coronavirus outbreak makes a surplus extremely unlikely.
  • The ‘Back in Black’ ad campaign launched prior to the 2019 Federal Budget, when Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his team argued the economy was returning to surplus for the first time since the 2007-2008 budget
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The coronavirus-led turmoil currently roiling global markets and pushing Australia towards an economic crisis possibly worse than the GFC, by Scott Morrison’s own account, has claimed another victim: Liberal Party merchandise.

The “Back in Black” mug, priced at a princely $35, has vanished from the party’s official merchandise store – no doubt because the Liberals have conceded a surplus is no longer likely in the near future, thanks to the ongoing effects of the bushfires and the escalating coronavirus outbreak.

According to a helpfully cached snapshot of the page, preserved by the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the mug was available on the store as recently as March 7.

Prior to the announcement of the federal budget last year, the Liberals kicked off a campaign titled ‘Back in Black’ which celebrated the return of the budget to surplus for the first time since the 2007-2008 budget. The pricey mug was one of the few remaining symbols of that particular campaign.

As Scott Morrison himself later conceded while interviewed on the ABC’s “7.30”, the budget was not actually in surplus at that time.

And, one could reasonably say, it won’t be in the near future.

Business Insider Australia has contacted the Liberal Party for comment.