TREASURER Wayne Swan says the Government has set new benchmarks as economic managers, but insists this year's Budget was not put together with an election in mind.
Prior to officially delivering the budget to Parliament, Mr Swan told journalists the budget delivers on a "strict fiscal strategy" to bring the Budget back into surplus in three years, and three years ahead of schedule.
This is achieved by offsetting spending and limiting spending growth, he said, which sets a "new benchmark for responsible economic management".
Mr Swan said despite a patchy global recovery and Europe "in strife", Australia had a strong economic story.
"Australia stands today as one of the strongest and most stable economies in the world," Mr Swan said.
"The numbers in the budget reflect that position of strength.
"We've emerged from the global recession with stronger growth than any other advanced economies and a budget position that is the envy of the developed world."
Mr Swan said this meant Australia could tackle future challenges from a strong foundation.
He said real spending growth would be held at two per cent until the Budget surplus reaches 1pc of GDP.
Mr Swan said this year's Budget was one that was "pretty heavy on policy, but light on politics".
"We'll see all sorts of claims from the Opposition but I don't think we're going to see an alternative," Mr Swan said.
"The Liberal Party talks tough about cutting Government spending but their blocking and opposition of our measures would only make the deficit bigger."
He told journalists this was not a budget that was "setting the government up for an election" and had not been set with the election cycle in mind.
He said it was a budget that was right for the times, and was not part of the political equation.
He said it was not a budget designed to shift opinion polls, nor did he think it would do that anyway.
Mr Swan said there was very little room for additional spending down the line from now, even prior to the election.
FarmOnline National News Bureau, Parliament House, CanberraSource: http://www.farmonline.com.au