Joint Media Release - Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor and Senator Jane Hume - Budget Surplus: No thanks to Labor

Friday, 22 September 2023

The surplus revealed in today’s Final Budget Outcome has been delivered off the back of the former Coalition Government’s strong economic management, sky-high commodity prices and Australians having to work harder to make ends meet in Labor’s cost of living crisis.

The Final Budget Outcome confirms under Labor we have seen higher taxes than forecast before the election including:

  • $33 billion increase in income tax receipts
  • $61 billion increase in company tax receipts

With tax-to-GDP hitting 23.8 per cent, Labor would be dangerously close to breaching the tax-to-GDP cap with its higher taxes if it hadn’t removed this crucial fiscal guardrail.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said the test for Labor is whether it can deliver a path to surplus over the forward estimates.

“A drover’s dog could have delivered a surplus this year,” Mr Taylor said.

“This surplus was largely driven by soaring commodity prices and higher tax receipts from Australians working harder for less to keep up with skyrocketing bills and prices under Labor.

“This budget windfall has been delivered by an industry the Albanese Labor Government is doing its best to destroy through market interventions, cuts to innovation funding and unworkable employment laws that will make it harder to invest and create jobs.

“Independent economist Chris Richardson has been crystal clear today: this is a windfall, not a management decision. Decisions from Labor have only made the budget bottom line worse off over its first two budgets.

“At a time when Australians are reeling from cost-of-living pressures, tax receipts are at their highest level in more than 16 years. Labor needs to recommit to the tax-to-GDP cap and rule out any changes to the stage 3 tax cuts.

“With the OECD and RBA warning of slower growth, higher inflation and higher unemployment over the next year Australians need a government with a clear plan to grow the economy, repair the Budget and bring down inflation. Instead of economic reform, Labor is distracted by its Canberra Voice and fighting employers.”

Shadow Finance Minister Senator Jane Hume said the only plan in Labor’s Budget papers is to deliver more deficits, higher unemployment and slower growth.

“A one-and-done surplus off the back of the economic setting put in place under the previous Coalition Government and sky high commodity prices is not an economic plan,” Senator Hume said. 

“Instead of addressing stubborn inflation and lack of productivity, Labor is spending like it’s going out of fashion, pushing $188 billion more out the door since the Coalition’s last Budget.

“With collapsing real wages, a GDP per capita recession, record slumps in consumer confidence, falling labour productivity and one of the highest core inflation rates amongst advanced economies, Australia’s future does not look bright under Labor.

“Australian families and businesses are already paying the price for the lack of economic plan from the Albanese Government, they can’t afford for Labor to continue down this path.”