The 'Fake Surplus' Is All Anyone Can Talk About
It didn't take long for budget night followers to point out the Federal Budget surplus forecast was just that -- a forecast.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg handed down his first Federal Budget on Tuesday night, promising Australians the country's first surplus in more than a decade.
The prediction is for a $7.1 billion surplus for the financial year 2019-20, and was the crown jewel in Frydenberg's maiden financial plan just weeks out from an election.
#FakeSurplus quickly began trending on social media not far behind #Budget2019, overtaking talk of mental health funding and the revelation Christmas Island will soon be closed.
ABC's Leigh Sales was quick to point out to Frydenberg that there are no real guarantees of spare change while the country is still, in fact, in deficit this financial year.
"Like any projection, your ability to deliver that $7 billion surplus is reliant on factors that are outside your control," Sales put to the Treasurer in an interview following the budget announcement.
"It might not happen," Sales pointed out.
"You could, unwittingly, be in the same position as Wayne Swan which is announcing a surplus that won't happen because there are factors such as the global economy."
READ MORE: Budget 2019: The Winners And Losers
Frydenberg stuck by the forecast, insisting "it will happen".
"$7.1 billion is a very substantial buffer," he said.
"So it's not a wafer thin surface."
But the internet will be a little harder to convince.
The Budget was, as always, full of wins and losses depending on who you are.
Funding for shiny new infrastructure projects will jump to $100 million over the next 10 years in a bid to connect regional centres to job-creating cities with road and rail upgrades.
There will be $158 billion of additional tax relief for those earning up to $126,000 a year, and a $525 million skills package planned to provide 80,000 new apprenticeships.
Big spending on health will see more than $700 million going toward mental health, with the bulk steered to a youth mental health an suicide prevention strategy.
Topping off the list of slightly more niche spending commitments are the three separate programs to deal with certain types of ants, the $2.5 million for preparatory work on a national orphanage museum, and the $300,000 to support the Australian Minifootball Federation to host the world Minifootball Federation World Cup in Perth.
Minifootball is just like regular football, but with five or seven players on each team instead of the standard 11 -- and Australia plans on besting its 2017 World Cup Quarter Final placement this year.