Negative, budget surplus in 1990. You were ten billion plus in the hole each year following till the Howard administration started cutting spending and put it back in the positive. Australia did start the 90's in the black though.
budget might have been in the black under keating, but the debt was still there. It’s a stick the Liberal Party bash the Labor Party with constantly, because they argue the lefties left us with $96B debt by 1996. All I know is I was reading something recently that said that the howard-costello policies were the first to pay off our debt in ~30 years.
He [Costello] will be the only treasurer for at least two generations to pay off the federal debt. When Costello became the treasurer in 1996, he inherited $96 billion in federal debt. In 2005-06, it had been paid off, and the Federal Government became a net creditor. The last time that had happened was in 1975-76.
(Yeah, a newspaper article unfortunately, but its all I can find.) Tellingly however no ALP member has ever denied this when the Libs used to trumpet about it all the time.
Australian Government debt was progressively reduced after the Second World War and largely eliminated by the beginning of the 1970s. In the decade following the Second World War, relatively tight fiscal policy halted the growth in gross debt, while high inflation underpinned the sharp reduction in gross debt as a share of GDP. By 1974, gross debt had declined to around 8 per cent of GDP from a peak of around 120 per cent of GDP in 1946.
There were two further episodes of debt accumulation, and subsequent reduction, during the 1980s and early 1990s driven by periods of weak economic growth and associated budget deficits. From the mid-1990s, as the Australian Government’s fiscal position improved, gross debt declined steadily as a share of GDP
You may be closer to right about funding than I think, but it's definitely not coming from federal. I can't even find 50 billion, and spending is at least 100 billion. Finding current numbers on health insurance is proving difficult. The WHO doesn't even have figures listed backing up what is referenced in wikipedia, not terribly surprising, it's a joke of an organization. I'd go with their 2005 numbers, but when it's the only recent year filled in and the entire table is a collection of very sparse entries it's pretty suspect. They also show government spending doubling from 2000 to 2005, that don't look right. If it is, the deficits aren't just stimulus. and Australia's in a worse position on trends than we are with Medicare over here having doubled in cost over the last decade.
Yeah, I too have had problems finding accurate figures too. Basically I’m just presenting what is common knowledge here, that the public system is the centrepiece of our healthcare.
Know anything about state debt levels?
Unfortunately, not really, other than my own state (in the red quite a bit I think!). That’s a fair point, because hospitals are run by the states, however most of that funding comes from the federal government (them being the taxers obviously). But, if we include state debt then perhaps your original argument was correct, however like I said I do not know the specifics of State debt, nor what it has been spent on. Not that this necessarily matters, you can’t necessarily attribute aspects of the debt to individual policies, because all spending contribute.