It’s budget night tonight but don’t hold your breath for any pre-election perks.
The focus has changed from stimulus spending to fiscal responsibility with Treasurer Wayne Swan to deliver his self-described “boring” budget.
Bridget Backhaus reports.
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An election year budget is traditionally a spending spree to buy votes, but this year will be very different.
Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “It’ll be light on politics and very heavy on responsibility.”
With Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s approval rating in freefall, the pressure is on for the Treasurer to deliver.
Heralded as a “no frills” budget, the focus will be on economic credibility and long-term investments.
Mr Swan has received a boost already with economists saying the budget will be back in surplus in 2013, three years earlier than predicted.
Wayne Swan, Treasurer: “Let’s turn the success of the global recession into enduring gains for all Australians.”
Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “Tonight’s budget should not be compared to last year’s budget which was based on a recession we never had.”
However, it is an election year and the budget is tipped to increase spending on health care and superannuation.
Paying for that will come out of the pockets of mining companies thanks to the controversial super tax on mining profits.
Ian MacFarlane, Shadow Minister for Energy and Resources: “This is a huge risk to this government to tie our future budget to an industry that has its ups and downs.”
The budget will be announced at 7.30 tonight.
Bridget Backhaus, QUT News