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Iron, coal provide temporary budget boost

Thursday, September 22nd, 2022

Federal Treasurer Jim Chalmers says robust iron ore and coal prices have helped narrow Australia’s budget deficit for the last fiscal year by about $50 billion.

In a preview of the federal budget due to be presented in full next month, he also said he felt most of the improvement was only temporary.

Chalmers does not see a similar boost ahead, with the benchmark October iron ore on the Singapore Exchange falling more than 15 per cent since August 1.

“We wanted to be upfront with people about what we are seeing in the final budget numbers as they settle,” Chalmers said during a media briefing.

“The government in March forecast a budget deficit of $79.8 billion for the fiscal year which ended June 30, 2022. That will now remain north of $30 billion.”

Amid an expected rise of about 25 cents per litre on petrol, Chalmers said Australia would support the efforts by the G7 group of countries to impose a price cap on Russian oil.

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