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Will we ever see a surplus? Treasurer refuses to answer

The federal Treasurer is refusing to say whether the government’s forecasted budget surplus will still be delivered this year.

The mid-year budget update in December downgraded the surplus to $5 billion dollars this financial year but will be impacted by half-a-billion-dollars promised to the bushfire recovery effort.

Treasurer Frydenberg repeatedly refused to say if the surplus will still be delivered, claiming “it’s never been a trophy for the Cabinet”.

He tells Chris Smith the government is focused on responding to the crisis.

Chris Smith: Will we ever see a surplus in this country?

Treasurer Frydenberg: Our first priority has always been delivering the services to the people who need it most.

Chris Smith: So a surplus doesn’t matter any more?

Treasurer Frydenberg: A surplus has never been an end in itself. It’s never been a trophy for the cabinet. What it has been about is Australia living within its means.

Chris Smith: Do you want a surplus by May or by the following year? When will we get a surplus?

Treasurer Frydenberg: I want to deliver the services to the people who need it most.

Chris Smith: I’m not going to get an answer to this, am I?

Treasurer Frydenberg: You’ll have to tune in on budget night in May.

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview