Scott Morrison... says credit rating at risk
Scott Morrison... says credit rating at risk

Australia's debt could hit $350 billion next year

THE Federal Government's debt could hit close to $350 billion next year unless Malcolm Turnbull is able to get budget savings through parliament.

The ABC says documents it has obtained show the deficit this year will be more than $37 billion.

"The 2016 Pre-Election Economic and Fiscal Outlook (PEFO) reports a significant fiscal challenge for the Government," the document, released to the ABC under Freedom of Information laws, said.

The government has been warned of key risks to getting the nation's books back in order.

They include the cost of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, new drugs being listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme; and payments to the states after natural disasters.

"Commonwealth Government debt levels are projected to reach recent historical highs, both on a gross and net basis," the PEFO said, with Commonwealth debt expected to hit $347.1 billion next financial year.

"Should Australia experience a significant negative economic shock, the fiscal position would be expected to deteriorate rapidly from current projections."

News of the warning, which came with suggestions of higher taxes, comes after Labor yesterday agreed to support the Government's savings bill, achieving $6.3 billion in savings.

But Treasurer Scott Morrison warned Australia's AAA credit rating - which affects the cost of public and private debt - is still not secure, the ABC reported.


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