Whilst there is an argument to be had about whether it even matters if Australia maintains a budget surplus (as rapidly retreating capital flows, currency and property collapse could dwarf any impacts from fiscal policy), it is probably worth considering the Treasurer's credibility as Australia soldiers on into 2013. A couple of headlines gave food for thought on this.
....The Treasurer - facing a united push from the Coalition and the Greens in the Senate for the tax office to provide details of the budget's projected $2 billion payments this financial year for the minerals resource rent tax - has fobbed off demands to release details of revenue forecasts....Since Mr Swan's pledge last October, there have not been any monthly forecasts or outlooks published of MRRT revenue....It is clear none of the big three miners - BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Xstrata, which are liable for more than 90 per cent of the MRRT payments - has made any payments in the first six months of this financial year (here).
...“I’m optimistic that 2013 will be a better year for the global economy,” Swan said yesterday in his weekly economic note. “One cause of optimism is recent evidence that China’s economy appears to be stabilizing after economic conditions moderated in 2012.”....(here)