Australia to lift debt ceiling to $486 billion

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Associated Press

Posted on October 22, 2013 at 7:03 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 22 at 11:33 PM

CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — The Australian government plans to raise the nation's debt ceiling by a whopping two-thirds to 500 billion Australian dollars ($486 billion) in a bid to avoid any future Washington-style political crisis over spending.

The government, elected last month, said Tuesday that its latest data showed that debt will hit a AU$300 billion ceiling in December.

While the previous government had forecast debt to peak at AU$370 billion in 2015-16, the latest data showed it would exceed AU$400 billion.

Treasurer Joe Hockey says Australia does not want to get into the U.S. position "where there's tremendous uncertainty about the capacity of a country to live within its means."

A 16-day partial U.S. government shutdown ended last week when Congress approved funding through January and increased the U.S. debt limit through February.

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