CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — Australia's treasurer has stepped away from his government's promise to return the budget to surplus in the current fiscal year, blaming lower than predicted company tax revenue and the strong Australian dollar for the nation's worsening financial position.
Wayne Swan, who is also acting prime minister, announced the probable deficit in the year ending June 30, 2013, after the Finance Department announced on Thursday that tax receipts for the year to October were 112 billion Australian dollars ($117 billion) — almost AU$4 billion below the government's forecast.
Swan told reporters, "Dramatically lower tax revenue now makes it unlikely that there will be a surplus in 2012-13."
In 2010, Swan promised that Australia would become the first major developed economy to return to surplus by 2012-13.
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