Date of this Version


Document Type

Discussion Paper

Publication Details

Doug McTaggart (1991) Future Directions for Public Sector Budget Policy: On Balance, are Surpluses Required?

A paper prepared for the Parliamentary Research Service, Parliarment House, Canberra.

School of Business Discussion Paper ; No. 21, Dec. 1991

© Copyright Doug McTaggart and the School of Business, Bond University



In this paper I present a critique of the fiscal policy stance adopted by the Government since 1986/87 wherein the pursuit of persistent surpluses has been paramount. I find considerable cause for concern over the justifications given for adopting such a fiscal policy stance. In general, arguments in support of the view that persistent deficits are bad (a view which I hold) do not extend to support the view that persistent surpluses are good. Even more disturbing is the means used to deliver actual surpluses in the years 1987/88 to 1990/91.