The Liberal Party has quietly removed a mug promoting a return to federal budget surplus from its official merchandise range, amid mounting speculation the Federal Government won’t put the 2019-2020 budget “Back In Black” after all.

The mug, introduced to the party’s swag collection before the Coalition’s stunning 2019 federal election victory, echoed Treasurer Josh Frydenberg‘s core promise that his party will deliver the first budget surplus in more than a decade.

For $35, punters could sip their coffee and promote the party’s fiscal management at the same time.

via Liberal Party of Australia

But, as Twitter user Matt Burke pondered yesterday, it was unusual the party still offered the limited edition mug for sale. After all, December’s midyear update saw the party cop to stagnating growth, while the drought, a historic bushfire season, and the global coronavirus outbreak continue to hammer Australia’s economy.

Soon after Burke asked how the mug was still on sale, it disappeared from party’s webstore. A cached version of the page states the mug sold out, but attempting to visit the page now delivers a big, fat 404 notice.

via Liberal Party of Australia

It’s an awfully curious set of circumstances. As it stands, the official 2019-2020 Budget website states the Coalition will oversee a surplus of $7.1 billion, but we’ll have to wait a little longer to see if that really comes to fruition.

Selling mugs for $35 a pop seems like a solid moneymaking tactic in the interim, though.

Image: Liberal Party of Australia