Australian Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the federal government won't ever return the budget to surplus because it's wasting money on transporting asylum seekers.
Mr Abbott says every boat that arrives in Australian waters costs taxpayers $A13 million.
"Currently the government is spending more money flying illegal boat arrivals around the country than it is subsidising the Royal Flying Doctor Service," he said in Sydney on Monday.
"That is the sorry pass we have come to in this country because we have a government that is incompetent and untrustworthy."
AAP reports the government has repeatedly said it will return the budget to the black, forecasting a surplus of $A1.1 billion this financial year and increased surpluses in future years, after four years of budget deficits.