LIBS ON THE COUNTER-ATTACK

The citizenship saga is set to turn on Labor in the new year, with Liberal MP John Alexander returned by the voters of Bennelong at the weekend byelection, thus restoring Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's majority in the lower house. With the numbers to make referrals to the High Court, the government has vowed to refer three Labor MPs to the court, leaving the party at risk of four byelections after MP David Feeney was referred earlier this year.

The government will hand down its Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook today, which will predict gross debt to be $23 billion lower in 2020-21 than previously forecast. That will save the government $1 billion in interest payments per year. In other news dropping in the lead-up to today's fiscal update, the government will boost the funding of finance intelligence agency Austrac ($) by $43 million.