The treasurer Wayne Swann has today released the mid year economic update, which details adjustments to savings and expenditure to the budget released last May.
He has had to look for substantial savings to achieve the government's promised return to surplus by mid 2013.
The aid budget has largely been spared, but the cost of dealing with an increase in the number of asylum seeker boat arrivals is set to hurt the bottom line.
Canberra correspondent Stephanie March reports.
Presenter: Stephanie March
Speaker: Maurene Horder, CEO of the Migration Institute of Australia; Wayne Swan, Australian Treasurer