Coalition Response to the 2010-11 Budget

The Shadow Treasurer, the Hon. Joe Hockey MP, today addressed the National Press Club in Canberra.

The speech was a continuation of the Coalition’s response to the Budget, following the Leader of the Opposition, the Hon. Tony Abbott MP’s Budget Reply last week.
Mr Hockey has released a document outlining the Coalition’s proposed savings measures which include:
  • Resources Super Profits Tax: Opposing the Resources Super Profits Tax and all other measures the Government announced in response to the Henry Tax Review such as changes to superannuation, company tax and state infrastructure funds (approximately $11,843 million) (further detail on these measures is available here).
  • Public Service: A freeze on recruitment in the public service until 2013-14 ($3,800 million), discontinuing Australian Public Service Reform ($39 million), reform of public service travel ($350 million), and cutting additional funding for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet ($12 million).
  •  Medibank: Selling Medibank Private ($4,000 million)
  • Climate Change: Discontinuing or reducing funding for a number of climate change initiatives including cutting the Renewable Energy Future Fund ($653 million), the Carbon Trust and Climate Change Foundation Campaign ($256 million), the International Climate Change Adaptation Initiative ($178 million), Ausaid Climate Change funding ($15 million) and reducing funding for the Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program ($200 million).
  •  National Broadband Network: Opposing the implementation of the National Broadband Network, including interest savings on not implementing the initiative ($20,460 million).
  • Skills and Training: Discontinuing the Productivity Places Program ($1,071 million) and the Trade Training Centres Program ($968 million).
  • Health: Discontinuing health initiatives such as the implementation of the E-health system ($467 million), and the establishment of 23 new GP Super Clinics ($355 million).
  • Education: Discontinuing several education initiatives such as the Computers in Schools program ($700 million) and the Smarter School, Improving Teacher Quality Program ($425 million).
  • Green initiatives: Reducing funding for several green initiatives such as the Green Car Innovation Fund ($278 million) and the Low Emission Assistance Plan for Renters ($409 million)
  • Advertising: Cutting government advertising ($175 million), and removing funding for Paid Parental Leave and Health Reform public relations campaigns and implementation ($41 million).
  • Consultancy services: Reducing consultancy services ($200 million).
  • Multilateral agencies: Reducing funding to multilateral agencies ($101 million).

Mr Hockey indicated that, in total, the proposed savings measures sum $46.718 billion.

The document notes that some program savings will be offset by lower cost and more effective Coalition programs, however further details are not available at this time.
Mr Hockey also announced that in Government, the Coalition;
  • would commission an independent review of the Trade Practices Act 1973 which would include all aspects of competition arrangements in Australia (more details from the Shadow Minister for Competition Policy, Bruce Billson, in the coming days);
  • would also conduct a review of the Financial Services Reform Act 2001; and
  • would ensure that product disclosure statements and short form prospectuses are simpler and shorter.
Mr Hockey also released a paper detailing the Coalition’s economic principles, Rebuilding Sustainable Prosperity.
The paper outlines the Coalition’s underlying economic ideology, including that:
  • “The Coalition believes in small government.”
  • “The Coalition believes in fiscal conservatism.”
  •  “The Coalition will restore fiscal rectitude.”
  •  “The Coalition believes in free markets”.
  • “The Coalition recognises that markets fail.”
  •  “The Coalition will run a Budget surplus over the cycle.”
  • “Where markets are operating well they should be largely left alone.”