The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

24 April 2013

Australia's AAA credit rating

Joint media release with
Senator the Hon Penny Wong
Minister for Finance and Deregulation

Comments from all three global ratings agencies - S&P, Moody's and Fitch - yet again reaffirm that Australia's AAA credit rating is secure.

Despite misleading headlines in this morning's newspapers, comments by the ratings agencies are entirely consistent with Australia maintaining its top-tier AAA rating.

Our medium term fiscal strategy is to deliver surpluses on average over the cycle, an approach which has consistently underpinned our AAA rating.

This is the strategy the credit rating agencies strongly endorse.

S&P said that Australia's:

"…fiscal flexibility is high, underpinned by the country's low public debt and strong fiscal discipline" ... "In summary, Australia remains on a sound path in our base-case scenario, with a number of key strengths supporting the 'AAA' rating."

[27 February 2013]

Moody's said:

"Australia's AAA rating is based on the country's very high economic resiliency, very high government financial strength, and very low susceptibility to event risk."

[6 March 2013]

And, less than one month ago, Fitch reaffirmed Australia's AAA rating, saying:

"Australia has remained one of the strongest performing economies in the 'AAA' universe since the global financial crisis began."

"Australia has built up the capacity to absorb shocks due to a combination of low public debt, a free floating exchange rate and liberal trade and labour markets, which allows the authorities to run strong countercyclical policies during downturns and the economy to adjust."

[29 March 2013]

Under the Gillard Government, Australia has achieved the AAA rating by all three major credit rating agencies. We are one of only eight countries with this gold-plated rating.

This is an achievement that was never attained for the entire 11 years the Liberal Party was in government.

How Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey can commit to a AAA rating from all three agencies when the Liberals had eleven years to achieve it - and failed so – is laughable.

Australia's public finances are among the very strongest in the world, with net debt just a fraction of other countries.

Contrary to these strong endorsements of Labor's budget strategy, headlines today about our AAA credit rating in today's The Australian and Australian Financial Review are factually incorrect, misleading and irresponsible. Neither newspaper contacted the government about this story.

The Gillard Government will continue the same responsible fiscal strategy that enabled Australia to achieve the AAA ratings from all three ratings agencies.