The 2018 federal budget smashed forecasts with an underlying cash deficit of $10.1 billion

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The federal government recorded an underlying cash deficit of $10.1 billion in the year to June, a $19.3 billion improvement on budget forecasts, according to the Final Budget Outcome.

The net operating deficit was $4 billion, or $15.8 billion better than the deficit of $19.8 billion estimated at the time of the budget.

Total revenue was $456.3 billion, or $11.9 billion higher than budget estimates. Tax collected was $427.4 billion, or $12 billion higher than expected.

Total expenses were $460.3 billion, or $4 billion lower than estimated.

Net debt for 2017-18 was $342 billion or 18.6% of GDP.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg says the underlying cash deficit at $10.1 billion, or just 0.6% of GDP, is the smallest in ten years.

He says this is “clear evidence that the Liberal-National Government’s plan for a stronger economy, more jobs and to repair the budget is working”.

He put the result down to stronger economic and employment growth.

This drove increases in personal income tax and company tax receipts.

Total payments were $6.9 billion lower than forecast at budget time, including as a result of lower welfare payments with more Australians in paid work.

“Welfare dependency for working age Australians is now at its lowest level in 25 years and in 2017-18, there were 90,000 fewer working age Australians on welfare,” he says.

“Today’s positive Final Budget Outcome builds on the release of the National Accounts earlier this month, which showed that the economy grew 3.4% through the year — the fastest rate of growth since the September quarter 2012 during the height of the mining investment boom and faster than any G7 economy.

“It also follows last week’s reaffirmation of our AAA credit rating by Standard & Poor’s — Australia being one of only 10 countries with such a rating from all three major ratings agencies.”

The Final Budget Outcome showed Real GDP grew by 2.9%, slightly stronger than the 2.75% growth forecast in the Budget.

Growth in consumption, non-mining business investment and public final demand was stronger than expected, while the detraction from mining investment was smaller than expected.

All the numbers from the Final Budget Outcome:

Final Budget Outcome

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