JULIA Gillard has challenged the opposition to show how it would have made budget surpluses during the global financial crisis.
Shadow treasurer Joe Hockey asked how - with tax revenue $18 billion higher than forecast in the dark days of the global financial crisis - the government could break its budget surplus promise because it was not collecting enough tax from Australians.
Ms Gillard told parliamentary question time on Wednesday that if the shadow treasurer looked at the latest 2012-13 mid-year budget review, he'd see government revenues as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) were the lowest since the 1990s.
Opposition Leader Tony Abbott said tax revenue was higher under this government than it had been at any time under the Howard government.
Ms Gillard again disagreed, saying tax revenues as a percentage of GDP were lower.
"We know the leader of the opposition does not like to confront facts which don't reinforce his prejudices," Ms Gillard said.
She said revenues had suffered write-downs because of the biggest economic crisis since the Great Depression.
She said the line of questioning suggested the opposition believed that if it had governed during the GFC it could have produced a surplus every year.
"Well, if the shadow treasurer and the leader of the opposition truly think that is the position ... there is no reason at all tomorrow they can't walk into this parliament and table what they would have done in that situation," she said.
"If they don't do that, let's not hear this nonsense ever again."