The Opposition has sought to embarrass the Federal Government by pointing out that nine Labor MPs have distributed a newsletter which says Labor has delivered a budget surplus.
The Coalition used Question Time today to attack the Government's economic management, after it walked away from a pledge to deliver a surplus in December.
The last Labor prime minister to deliver a budget surplus was Bob Hawke, and in a gift to Opposition treasury spokesman Joe Hockey, the former leader was a guest in the House of Representatives today.
Mr Hockey called on Treasurer Wayne Swan to apologise for newsletters which state: "In these uncertain global times, there's no clearer sign of a strong economy than a surplus. We've delivered a surplus on time as promised."
"I refer the Treasurer to this taxpayer-funded newsletter distributed in his electorate which states 'we have delivered a surplus on time as promised'," Mr Hockey told the House.
"Given there is only one Labor man in this chamber that could boast of having delivered a surplus, will the Treasurer now write to his constituents and apologise for lying to them?"
Opposition MP Tony Smith said Mr Swan was not the only Labor member to have sent the message to voters.
"I refer the Prime Minister to these taxpayer-funded newsletters from nine of her Labor colleagues, including the Assistant Treasurer, Minister for Families and Minister for Resources, with the claim that 'Labor delivered a surplus on time as promised'," he said.
"In the words of the Leader of the Opposition, 'no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no and no'," he said.
Prime Minister Julia Gillard hit back at the Opposition's Question Time attempts, demanding it explain how it would have avoided deficits during the global financial crisis.
"There is no reason at all why tomorrow they couldn't walk in this parliament and table what they would have done in that budget situation to show surpluses across those financial years," she said.
"Every fact, every figure is at their disposal. Let's not just have the spin and the hysteria and the questions - just come in tomorrow and table the document.
"And if they don't do that, then let's not hear any of this nonsense ever again."
But Ms Gillard dismissed that.
"He puts together apples and oranges and pretends that they are the same thing - it is nonsense, nonsense when it comes out of the mouth of the shadow treasurer and it is nonsense when it comes out of the mouth of the Leader of the Opposition," she said.