29/06/2016 4:59 PM AEST | Updated 15/07/2016 12:56 PM AEST

Bill Shorten Can't Remember Labor's Last Surplus, Probably Because It Was In 1989


Opposition leader Bill Shorten struggled to remember the last time Labor delivered a budget surplus during an awkward exchange with Today host Karl Stefanovic on Wednesday.

"I guess I was an adult," Shorten said, but only after making a weird, rolling-tongue mumble while trying to think of an answer.

"I would have been in my Twenties," he said when pressed for a clearer answer.

It was 1989 when Labor last delivered a budget surplus and, to be fair, Shorten was correct -- he was 22.

"It's an awful long time ago," Stefanovic shot back.

"The last Coalition surplus was certainly a shorter time ago than the last Labor surplus...why should anyone believe either party? Why would anyone believe that you'll return the budget to surplus in 10 years."

"But the point about that is Karl, how long has it been since the liberal party delivered a surplus under this government?" Shorten said.

"When was the last time you saw the liberal party deliver a surplus...it's actually a two horse race."

Unveiling its final costings in Brisbane on Sunday ahead of this Saturday's election, the Labor Party confirmed that their budget would be about $16.4 billion worse off over the next four years, but insisted that it would return to balance at the same time as the Coalition.