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Penny Wong not embarrassed by budget surplus back flip

Posted by: Ellen Feely | 20 December, 2012 - 2:58 PM
penny wong

Finance Minister Penny Wong has defended the government's decision to break its budget surplus promise, and insists she's not embarrassed by the back flip.

Speaking with Justin Smith, Ms Wong said a much bigger than anticipated hole in forecast tax revenue left the government with no choice than to leave the budget in deficit, despite continual assurances to bring the budget back to surplus.

"We believe we've come to the point where if we continue to cut to offset a loss of tax revenue, a hole in how much tax revenue we get, that could jeopardise jobs and growth and we're not prepared to do that," she said.

"We had to make the call and we had to be upfront with the Australian people, which is what we've done.

"I'm never embarrassed by making decisions that are in the best economic interests of the nation."

Ms Wong said an 'unusual set of circumstances' involving a high Australian dollar value and decreasing commodity prices were hitting businesses and profits, resulting in less tax revenue.

"Despite the fact we'd already written down how much we assumed we would get in tax revenue, we saw an even bigger hit - $3.9 billion," she said.

Treasurer Wayne Swan called a snap news conference yesterday to make this announcement, and assured Australian's there won't be further spending cuts by arguing such a move risks jobs and could damage economic growth.

LISTEN: Finance Minister Penny Wong speaks with Justin Smith:

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Blog comments Your Say

  • Mylene, everyone is a wake up to you, come on 'fess up that you are a Labor stooge only out to stir us real people up.

    GIW Monday 24 December, 2012 - 5:11 PM
  • Crooked, Crooked ,Crooked.
    I can't think of any more positives to describe this horrible group of people falsely claiming to represent the Australian public. Led by the worst of the lot, JULIAR. Enjoy your holiday and I hope Katut gives you a rash.

    Eddy Monday 24 December, 2012 - 11:06 AM
  • There has been no loss at all in tax revenue Madame Wong. The disgraceful massive debt has been made by you bunch of incompetents throwing money away like confetti such as the $1 Billion given to damned Afghanistan and the list goes on and on. And don't lie to us about 'being up front' you knucklehead. We Aussies don't suffer fools easily Madame!!!

    Samuel Kyrikos Monday 24 December, 2012 - 7:08 AM
  • abbott/workchoices has been saying a surplus budget was wrong for australia at this time.surely now,he will come out and support the goverment.maybe he will even release his IR policy,,ooops,sorry that would destroy any political gain dr no can squeeze out of this one.........

    garry Sunday 23 December, 2012 - 1:26 PM
  • I have a gut feeling that if the entire failed,incompetent so called cabinet of Gillard and comrades went and jumped off the Gap, then Madame Wong, if true to her vocal unwavering support of these clowns, would likewise jump over with them. She may be a tad smarter to her credit and I dare say might watch the rest of the motley team of boofheads go down! eh eh eh!

    Luigi T Cassimatis B.Ec Saturday 22 December, 2012 - 10:17 PM
  • Oh look this Wong woman would blatantly come out with her usual mangled garbage to support any decision taken by the band of utter incompetent boofheads that form this minority socialist Gillard temporary 'government.' A one term mob of abject failures, rorters, dunces and clowns in every way. The lies, the about faces on every issue shows them up for what they are :- incompetent damned fools! Amen.

    Jonathon L Benson Saturday 22 December, 2012 - 9:57 PM

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