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Australia's Budget Returns to Surplus
Source: radioaustralia.net.au
Source Date: Tuesday, May 11, 2010
Country: Australia
Created: May 17, 2010

Australia's Treasurer Wayne Swan has delivered his government's third budget, confirming a faster than expected return to budget surplus.The Government also claims it is on track to boost overseas development aid to 0.5 of a per cent of gross national income.Confirming an earlier than expected return to a budget surplus by 2012-13, the Treasurer says economic growth will be two per cent in the current year, well above the half per cent contraction forecast at the last budget. The big reason is the revenue windfall from the resources boom. Australia's growth is predicted to be 3.75 per cent next year and four per cent the following year, although inflation could be a problem.

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Unemployment keeps falling to a forecast 4.75 per cent. New investments in renewable energy are to be made after savings from abandoning an emissions trading scheme. Foreign aid will rise to $A4.3 million, in line, Australia says, with a goal of increasing aid to 0.5 per cent of national income by 2015. There are measures to help meet Australia's commitment to aid poor countries adapting to climate change. Papua New Guinea receives an aid boost and remains the largest aid recipient bilaterally. Extra funding will boost Australia's development partnership with Indonesia.Defence spending continues to focus on operations in Afghanistan, Solomon Islands and East Timor.
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