Peter Costello

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Beazley Walks Both Sides of the Street

NO.027

BEAZLEY WALKS BOTH SIDES OF THE STREET

Kim Beazley walks both sides of the street. On the one hand, Mr Beazley today wants to complain about the Government’s savings measures put in place to drive the Budget into surplus.

On the other hand, he complains that the Government shows the fiscal responsibility of a "drunken sailor".

Which is it? Is it the case that the Government is fiscally tight or is it the case that it is fiscally profligate?

Mr Beazley’s figures, of course, are entirely incorrect. His claim of a $1.6 billion "hole" relates to four years of forward estimates.

We had factored into the Budget $1 billion over four years from a measure to cut down on FBT avoidance. Labor opposed this and sabotaged the lot. What is more, it was part of Labor’s election policy. Labor voted against its own policy attempting to drive a $1 billion cost to the Budget and now complains that it has been partly successful.

This is a repeat performance of its opposition over the last four years when it has opposed every savings measure whilst claiming it is in favour of surplus budgets.

For the record, when it ran fiscal policy over the last five years of Government, its outcomes were:

LABOR’S RECORD IN OFFICE

Year

Underlying Balance

1991-92

-11571m

1992-93

-17016m

1993-94

-17092m

1994-95

-13177m

1995-96

-10075m

Grand Total

-68931m

18 April 2000
Canberra

18 Apr 2000

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