Budget speech …

I am pleased to be able to bring you Wayne Swan’s budget speech …

Madam Deputy Speaker, I move that the Bill now be read a second time.

The four years of surpluses I announce tonight are a powerful endorsement of the strength of our economy, resilience of our people, and success of our policies.

In an uncertain and fast changing world, we walk tall — as a nation confidently living within its means.

This Budget delivers a surplus this coming year, on time, as promised, and surpluses each year after that, strengthening over time.

It funds new cost of living relief for Australian families.

It helps businesses invest, compete and adapt to an economy in transition.

And it finances bold new policies to help Australians with a disability, the aged, and those who can’t afford dental care.

It does these things for a core Labor purpose:

To share the tremendous benefits of the mining boom with more Australians.

To create more wealth, prosperity, and jobs; spread more opportunity; and advance the living standards of millions of families and pensioners on modest incomes.

Tonight we make a forceful statement that ours is one of the world’s strongest economies and fairest communities.

Not even a sovereign debt crisis in Europe or unprecedented natural disasters here at home could deny Australia this substantial achievement.

The deficit years of the global recession are behind us. The surplus years are here.

Surpluses built on some difficult savings, which avoid vulnerable Australians and frontline services, and don’t compromise our investments in productivity.

Surpluses that provide a buffer against global uncertainty, and continue to give the Reserve Bank room to cut interest rates for families like it did just last week.

This Budget is about discipline and restraint but also about priorities; ensuring precious funds are redirected to the purposes and people that need them most.

Across the budget, by saving and redirecting $33.6 billion, we’re balancing the books.

Making room for $5 billion in new payments to households.

Finding an extra $714 million to help companies compete, on top of the $3.7 billion in small business tax breaks.

Funding the historic first stage of a National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Investing in dental services for those who can least afford them.

Strengthening the aged care system.

Investing in productivity and competitiveness by building on key improvements in health, education, infrastructure and clean energy.

Staying true to our Labor ideals and to the promise of a fair go, converting economic success into real benefits for the majority of Australians.

The deficit years of the global recession are behind us. The surplus years are here. Oh, whoops that was last year’s …

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