Returning the budget to surplus sends a strong message of confidence and is our best defence in uncertain times.
Strong message of confidence
Australia's budget will return to surplus ahead of any major advanced economy. Returning to surplus is a clear sign of Australia's economic strength.
The strength of our public finances is a key reason behind Australia receiving a AAA credit rating with a stable outlook from all three major rating agencies for the first time in our history. We are one of only eight countries that currently meets this standard.
Returning to surplus sends a strong message of confidence to the rest of the world during a period of heightened global uncertainty.
Best defence in uncertain times
Returning the budget to surplus is Australia's best defence at a time when the global economy is undergoing dramatic structural changes and the global outlook remains uncertain.
While global financial stresses have eased since the acute bout of instability late last year, conditions remain weak and fragile.
Many other advanced economies are still facing the significant task of rebuilding and growing their economies as well as setting their public finances on a sustainable footing.
As we have seen from the global turbulence over the past four years, being prepared for changing economic conditions is critical.
A budget surplus is a key component of this preparation.
Surpluses strengthen the Government's balance sheet and rebuild our fiscal reserves to create a buffer in uncertain global economic times.
This buffer will provide the Government with more options to respond, if necessary, in the most effective way to unexpected changes in the domestic and global economy.
Back to surplus faster (2011–2017)
Lower net debt (2011–2017)