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Budget surplus timing less certain

AAP logoAAP 21/11/2016

Treasurer Scott Morrison can expect to be pursued over when he expects to return the budget to surplus having turned vague on this issue after a report predicted a further deterioration in the nation's finances.

The May budget had forecast a return to the black in 2020/21.

Since then an anticipated boost to the budget bottom line from a surge in key commodity prices, such as coal and iron ore, will only partly offset the hit to tax revenue from slow wage growth, according to Deloitte Access Economics.

It expects this will result in a $24 billion deterioration in the budget position over the next four years.

Mr Morrison will hand down his mid-year budget review on December 19, after the release of the September quarter national accounts on December 7, which will help guide Treasury's economic forecasting.

Labor is concerned a delay in returning the budget to surplus will result in Australia losing its top-tier AAA rating.

But the treasurer has hit back, saying if the opposition is concerned about the fiscal position it should support $19 billion of savings presently stuck in the parliament.

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