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Thursday, 19 June 2014
Page: 6799

Mr FRYDENBERG (KooyongParliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister) (11:10): It is a great pleasure to respond to the member for Rankin. Firstly, it is not only us who are telling the Australian people that we have to reduce spending; it is groups like the IMF, who said of 17 leading economies in the world Australia has the fastest rate of spending, the independent Parliamentary Budget Office and the independent Commission of Audit, who said that we are on a trajectory of spending that we cannot continue. That is why we have had to take measures in this budget.

I am very happy to tell the member for Rankin that when it comes to the COAG Reform Council we are saving $8.3 million over the forward estimates. It might be news to the member for Rankin that the state that he comes from—Queensland—is also going to benefit, because the states are going to save just over $10 million—

Dr Chalmers: Madam Deputy Speaker, I have a point of order. I do apologise for interrupting. I would like to table the government's own budget document that says that there has been $80 billion in cuts.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Mrs Andrews ): There is no point of order.

Mr FRYDENBERG: The member for Rankin might like to learn that his own state of Queensland is going to be one of the states that are going to save—and this is a cumulative amount—over $10 million from getting rid of the COAG Reform Council. You need to know that the sunny state of Queensland is also going to be a beneficiary of the COAG Reform Council not continuing and the Commonwealth is going to save over $8 million.

The member for Rankin does raise an important point about this government's commitment to funding hospitals and schools. Yes, it is true that some of the state premiers and the chief ministers were not that happy after the budget, but would you believe that, if you look at Treasury's papers, over the coming decade increased expenditure from the Commonwealth to the states is going to be tens of billions of dollars—nearly $60 billion of increased money over the decade. That is money from the Commonwealth to the states for things like hospitals and schools. In fact, hospital funding and school funding are going up between 37 and 40 per cent.

An honourable member: It is not going up.

Mr FRYDENBERG: It is. Spending is going up over the next four years and the Prime Minister has repeatedly stated that in the chamber. If you look at the government's funding commitments for hospitals and schools, it is going up year upon year upon year—40 per cent and 37 per cent for schools and hospitals. The member for Rankin is very brave because he has raised the issue of school funding. What has been the most topical issue when it comes to school funding? It has been Gonski. How much more have we put in?

Mr Tudge: $1.2 billion.

Mr FRYDENBERG: $1.2 billion, thank you, Member for Aston. An extra $1.2 billion that they ripped from the children of Queensland and Western Australia. We, under the leadership of the Prime Minister and the Minister for Education, have found that money from the taxpayers of Australia to go where they never were spending that money.

I am very proud of the fact that in this budget we are not only putting down the foundation for increased growth and jobs and productivity, we are not only paying back Labor's debt by finding spending cuts, but we are also increasing support for hospitals and for schools by the significant numbers of 37 and 40 per cent respectively.

Ms Chesters: That was a printing error!

Mr FRYDENBERG: Unlike the member for Bendigo, those members opposite do not take the fiscal responsibilities of the Commonwealth seriously. These members on this side of the House take our responsibilities very seriously when it comes to the budget. We are very proud of this document and we are very proud of the increased funding for schools and for hospitals.