The expected underlying cash surplus for 2012‑13 is $1.1 billion (0.1 per cent of GDP), increasing to $2.2 billion (0.1 per cent of GDP) in 2013‑14.
The expected surplus in 2012‑13 is smaller than expected at Budget, driven in large part by the weaker global outlook and the consequent substantial write‑down in tax receipts. Over the five years since the onset of the GFC there has been a substantial write‑down in tax receipts totalling almost $160 billion.
Total tax receipts have been revised down by around $4 billion in 2012‑13 in large part because of weaker non‑rural commodity prices. This was offset in part by non-tax receipts and payments variations of around $2 billion.
The Government has made a number of savings decisions in response to the write‑down in tax receipts across the forward estimates. In total, savings of $16.4 billion have been made in 2012‑13 and across the forward estimates, with the net budget impact of all policy decisions improving the budget bottom line by $10.5 billion. The savings decisions made by the Government will help to leave Australia in a substantially stronger fiscal position than any of the major advanced economies.
Australia will return the budget to surplus ahead of the major advanced economies
(Chart 1.3). The average net debt position of the major advanced economies is projected to peak at 95 per cent of GDP in 2016, almost 10 times higher than the expected peak in Australia's net debt of 10.0 per cent of GDP in 2011‑12 (Chart 1.4).