- The federal Government is bringing down the budget early, in April.
- The move is a strong indication of a federal election planned in May.
- Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the budget will be a surplus budget.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says the next federal Budget will be announced on April 2, one month early.
The move is a strong indication of planning for a May federal election, the latest date for a national poll.
Morrison says the government will deliver a surplus budget.
“Before we go to the next election, we will be handing down a budget and it will be a surplus budget,” he told a media conference.
“It will be a budget which is the product of years of hard work of our government.”
His announcement was made at the same time as Victorian Liberal MP Julia Banks said she would be moving to the crossbenches as an independent.
She had announced in August that she would not stand again in her seat of Chisholm, calling out “bullying and intimidation” of women in politics.
The move puts the Morrison government with a minority in the House of Representatives. However, Banks says she will support the government support on key issues of confidence and money supply.
At the Morrison media announcement, the prime minister spoke like he was opening an election campaign, saying Australians can trust the Liberal and National parties with a stronger economy and lower taxes.
“When we were elected in 2013, we said we would get rid of the carbon tax and we did. We said we would stop the votes and we did, and we said we would bring the budget back into balance and we are,” he said.
“We’ve been delivering on our commitments as a government. We’ve been getting things done.
“We can be trusted to run Australia’s budget and trusted to oversee a growing economy.
“We have been investing in more services, record investments in hospitals and schools, in disabilities and affordable medicines, making life changing decisions for Australians all around the country.
“All of that has been made possible by ensuring that we focus on a stronger economy and we are doing it without increasing taxes.
“Labor will make lots of claims but they are making those claims on the back of a higher tax burden on the Australian economy which will suffocate growth, which will suffocate jobs.”
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