The Federal Government has been forced to acknowledge that it owes the states a $8 billion budget surplus despite the Government’s own figures showing the states have only a $1 billion surplus.
The Government has defended its deficit forecast, saying it is based on its best available data and projections and it was not trying to mislead voters.
But the Auditor-General’s report released today is likely to reignite the debate about how well the Federal Budget is delivering on its promises and whether it has delivered on the promises it made.
The report also finds that the Government has missed targets for its promised investment in roads, hospitals and schools, and is yet to deliver on other promises such as making a fairer tax system more equitable and making it easier for young Australians to access their entitlements.
The Auditor-general’s report found the Government is spending $2.2 billion more than the Government said it would.
It found the Federal budget surplus was $7.7 billion less than its $3.4 billion projection and it also found the Budget did not reflect the fact that Australia’s gross domestic product has risen to the highest level since World War II.
It also found that the budget is unlikely to be sustainable for the next 10 years and that the Commonwealth needs to spend more money.
The Audit Office’s report is a follow-up to a long-running audit of the Federal finances and the Auditor General is expected to publish his report in the coming weeks.