The Crest of the Commonwealth of Australia Treasury Portfolio Ministers
Picture of Wayne Swan

Wayne Swan

Deputy Prime Minister and Treasurer

3 December 2007 - 27 June 2013

8 December 2009

NO.121

Shadow Finance Minister Needs to Commit to Responsible Financial Management

The new Shadow Finance Minister should today commit to the Rudd Government's strict fiscal rules on spending, tax and savings.

If Senator Joyce cannot commit to these responsible rules, it will raise serious questions about the Coalition's intentions for the next Budget and capacity for responsible economic management.

Following a severe global recession which wiped $170 billion from Commonwealth Government revenues, the 2010 Budget will be framed in a very challenging environment.

In this difficult budgetary environment, responsible and considered financial management is more important than ever.

The new Shadow Finance Minister should today:

  • Commit to the Government's disciplined fiscal rule of a 2 per cent real cap on spending growth when the economy returns to above-trend growth;
  • Commit to a tax to GDP ratio not exceeding 2007/08 levels on average; and
  • Offset all new Coalition spending with savings elsewhere in the Budget.

In his first week as Opposition Leader Mr Abbott has already announced his intention to remove means testing on the Baby Bonus and other welfare payments.

Removing all of these means tests will cost the Budget around $3 billion over four years.

Senator Joyce should immediately release the costings of this new Coalition policy and outline the savings or tax increase the Coalition will rely on to pay for this policy.

BRISBANE
8 December 2009