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Australian government warns of tough budget

Published on May 4, 2014 3:40 PM
 
A retail worker holds up an outlet store promotion in downtown Sydney on March 6, 2014. The Australian budget later this month will involve "tough decisions" to put the economy back on track, a senior minister said on Sunday, May 4, 2014, as a poll revealed a voter backlash against any new tax to cut debt. -- FILE PHOTO: REUTERS

SYDNEY (AFP) - The Australian budget later this month will involve "tough decisions" to put the economy back on track, a senior minister said on Sunday as a poll revealed a voter backlash against any new tax to cut debt.

Australia has enjoyed more than 20 years of annual growth, sidestepping the worst of the global financial crisis due to a mining boom fuelled by Asian demand.

But the government elected in September has said it is facing a deficit of A$47 billion (S$54.6 billion) this fiscal year due to the previous Labor administration, and that the debt will only mount in coming years.

House Leader Christopher Pyne refused to comment on whether a new tax reportedly under consideration to plug the deficit - on workers earning more than A$80,000 a year - would be unveiled as part of the budget on May 13.

 
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