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PM spruiks larger-than-expected budget surplus

A larger-than-expected surplus for the last financial year will take pressure off inflation and is due to responsible budget management, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese says.

The underlying cash balance for the 12 months to May was $19 billion, well above the $4.2 billion surplus flagged for the 2022/23 financial year in the last federal budget.

Official Department of Finance monthly figures released on Friday showed surging company and personal taxes driven by strong commodity prices and the robust labour market.

Mr Albanese told reporters in Sydney on Saturday his government had worked to turn a deficit into a surplus, but the opposition said it was due to “dumb luck” as the government received more tax dollars.

“The fact that we’ve turned a $78 billion deficit that was forecast under the Liberal National Party government just over a year ago into a surplus that’s in excess of $4 billion is a positive thing,” Mr Albanese said.

“I believe that Australian families will look at the federal budget and say it is good that we have a government that is putting in place responsible budget management in order to put that downward pressure on inflation.

“They know that responsible economic policy from the federal government is important and has a flow-on impact that is positive for families.”

Shadow climate change and energy minister Ted O’Brien disputed the government’s reasoning behind the surplus.

“Labor might be licking its lips with a budget surplus but Australian households are on their knees in pain,” he said.

“Labor should not confuse dumb luck with good policy.

“Where there’s a surplus, it’s because the government is receiving more tax dollars.

“They are taxing companies, they are taxing the Australian people.”

— AAP

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