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Thursday, 15 May 1997
Page: 3877

(Question No. 1285)

Mr Latham asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 11 February 1997:

(1) What was the level of public debt interest repayments in the (a) 1972-73 and (b) 1996-97 Budgets as a proportion of underlying Commonwealth budget outlays.

(2) What do the figures referred to in part (1) indicate about issues of intergenerational equity of the Commonwealth Budget between 1972-73 and 1996-97.

Mr Costello —The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1) The Budget estimates of public debt interest (PDI) outlays in 1996-97 were $9.8 billion or 7.2 per cent of underlying Commonwealth budget outlays. The 1972-73 Budget estimates of PDI outlays were $0.6 billion; no estimates were given of underlying Commonwealth budget outlays but based on subsequent estimates, this represented 7.2 per cent of such outlays.

(2) Assessments of intergenerational equity require a more comprehensive analysis than that provided by reference to PDI outlays at two particular points in time.