Budget could be painful for Aussies

A lot of Aussies' bank accounts are in a sorry state due to the rising cost of living down under, but are things about to get worse?

The government wants to achieve a budget surplus, but the chances of this are slimmer than it was first thought.

Treasurer Wayne Swan needs to plug a gap in the region of $8 billion if the authorities are to reach their target, which has sparked fears of tax increases or public sector cutbacks.

With many Aussies feeling the pinch, the last thing they need is to be hit with a tax hike, but the government has to claw back the cash from somewhere.

Drivers will be hoping that duty rates on fuel will be left well alone, as motorists are already paying sky-high prices at the pumps. This is not the only sector where costs appear to be spiralling out of control.

Recent figures showed that major cities like Melbourne and Sydney are among the most expensive places to live in the world, so it is clear that whatever the government decides to do, it must not plunge Aussies into even deeper financial trouble.

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