Delivering budget surpluses
This Budget delivers the Government’s seventh surplus. Ensuring the budget is in surplus means the Government is not living beyond its means. An underlying cash surplus of $2.4 billion is expected in 2004-05 with surpluses in the next three years.
The Government’s financial position continues to be guided by its medium-term strategy of achieving budget balance, on average, over the economic cycle. This strategy aims to maximise sustainable economic growth, and ultimately, the living standards of all Australians.
Good budget management
Good economic management has meant the Government has continued to deliver a budget surplus, while continuing to maintain spending in high priority areas such as aged care, health, education, security and infrastructure as well as providing more help for Australian families.
While Australia delivers surpluses, OECD projections show that most member countries are expected to record a budget deficit in 2004-05. The average budget deficit for the OECD as a whole is expected to be 3.7 per cent of GDP.
Looking to the future, responsible budget management will continue to provide support for sustainable economic growth, lower unemployment and rising living standards, and position Australia to deal with the challenges of an ageing population.