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Australia plans to balance books in pre-election budget

April 2, 2019

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government has unveiled a plan to balance the national budget next year and pay off all debt in a decade as it prepares for a general election next month.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on Tuesday outlined a strategy to deliver a 7.1 billion Australian dollar ($5 billion) surplus in the fiscal year starting July 1 while promising tax cuts and cash handouts to most Australians.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes the budget will be positively received by voters, whom he will ask to re-elect his conservative coalition for a third three-year term. Morrison is expected to announce within days that an election will he held on May 11 or May 18.

The budget strategy has to be endorsed by Parliament to become law.