Finance Minister Mathias Cormann has spoken about the Turnbull government’s intention to get the budget back to surplus ASAP, without committing to any hard deadlines.

“We need to make decisions that are both fiscally and economically responsible. Based on the numbers in the Budget a return to surplus is forecast, is projected for 2020/21,” Senator Cormann said.

On December 19 Senator Cormann and Treasurer Scott Morrison will deliver the midyear budget review.

Australia’s economy took a hit when it recorded its first decline since March 2011,  contracting by 0.5 per cent in the September quarter.

Following this news, Senator Cormann denied that we’re facing a recession, and said that stimulus spending would not be up for discussion in the upcoming mid-year budget review.

A second consecutive negative result would technically place us in recession, but Senator Cormann said he didn’t think this would happen.

“I completely reject your proposition that we are in a recession right now, that is just false,” he said.

The Turnbull government’s climate change policies were recently under review, but Mr Cormann said this had just been “housekeeping”.

“It’s always good practice, it’s always good housekeeping to look back at what you’ve done and the way you’re doing it to ensure you’re giving your policy settings the best possible chance to be successful,” he said.