Australia’s Prime Minister says he will deliver country’s first Budget surplus in decade

Australia’s recently appointed Prime Minister, Scott Morrison has promised to deliver the country’s first budget with a surplus, in more than a decade.

Source: AAP

Mr. Morrison said on Tuesday his government will deliver an early annual budget on April 2, ahead of its expected date in early May.

This will give Labor Leader Bill Shorten two days to deliver the Labor Government’s traditional budget in response.

Analysts have said the move is strategic, with federal election day looming expected in May next year and the new budget year beginning shortly after in July.

Mr Morrison also said the Mid-Year Economic Fiscal outlook will be released December 17.

"The next election will be a choice between a strong economy to pay for essential services...or higher taxes," Mr Morison said.

Mr Morrison has promised a surplus budget but didn’t specify which year.

"It is absolutely our intention to have the budget before the election and to deliver a surplus budget.” Mr Morrison said."

Political analysts have said 2018’s financial year has been forecast to be in deficit, with a surplus forecast for the year 2020-21.

"It is only the hard work of the last five years that has put us in a position to be able to have a surplus budget." He said.

MP quits Liberal party

In a shock announcement on Tuesday, Member for Chisholm, Julia Banks has announced she has quit the Liberal party and will instead sit in as an independent until the next election.

She announced her departure in Parliament on tuesday, at the same time Mr Morrison addressed the public in a media conference.

Her shock exit will put the Morrison government in jeopardy, as it won’t have the numbers needed to control Parliament.

The Morrison government now only has 74 seats in the 150- seat house, making them two short of a majority.

Source: Fairfax

Ms Banks referred to the leadership turmoil that toppled former prime minister Malcolm Turnbull in August as a "coup" and accused MPs of trading their vote for a leadership vote in “exchange for their individual promotion, preselection endorsements or silence,” she said in a statement on Tuesday.

“Their actions were undeniably for themselves, for their position in the party, their power, their personal ambition. Not for the Australian people who we represent.” She said.

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