Mr Speaker, I move that the Bill now be read a second time.
This Budget is designed to meet the big challenges of the future.
It is a Budget that strengthens Australia's economic foundations, and delivers for working families under pressure.
It is the responsible Budget our nation needs at this time of international turbulence, and high inflation at home.
A Budget carefully designed to fight inflation, and ensure we meet the uncertainties of the future from a position of strength.
A Budget with a $55 billion Working Families Support Package at its very core.
A Budget that begins a new era of strategic investment in Australia's future challenges and opportunities.
And a Budget that helps plan, finance and secure Australia's long‑term national security and defence needs.
These are the commitments the Government gave to the Australian people at the election. Mr Speaker, this Budget honours those commitments.
The Government has made sure every single cent of new spending for the coming year has been more than met by savings elsewhere in the Budget.
Our commitments have been honoured by redirecting spending. Difficult spending cuts have helped fund our Working Families Support Package and our new priorities for the nation.
We are budgeting for a surplus of $21.7 billion in 2008‑09, 1.8 per cent of GDP, the largest budget surplus as a share of GDP in nearly a decade.
This honours and exceeds the 1.5 per cent target we set in January, without relying on revenue windfalls.
It is a surplus built on substantial savings of $33 billion over four years, including $7 billion in 2008‑09 alone.
And it is a surplus built on disciplined spending, with the lowest real increase in Government spending in nearly a decade; spending growth which is one quarter of the average of the previous four years.
Mr Speaker, we need a strong surplus to anchor a strong economy; to do our bit to ease inflationary pressures in the economy; to build a buffer against international turbulence; and so we can fund ongoing long term investment in the ports, roads, railways, hospitals, universities and vocational education we need, to deliver growth with low inflation into the future.
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