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Tuesday, 14 October 2003
Page: 21398

Mr Latham asked the Treasurer, upon notice, on 12 August 2003:

What has been the net impact on the budget bottom line of discretionary Government policy decisions for each Federal budget since 1996.

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

The cumulative net impact on the budget bottom line of Government policy decisions since 1996 is not separately calculated. Each budget since 1996 provides initial estimates of the cost of policy decisions at that time. However, these estimates do not include the effect of subsequent parameter and other variations that would impact on the cumulative net effect of policy decisions. In addition, because of a change made in accounting practices, data over the years 1996-97 to 2002-03 is not strictly comparable. Data included in the Budget years up to and including 1998-99 are consistent with the cash ABS GFS reporting requirements, while data in the budget years 1999-2000 onwards are derived from an accrual ABS GFS reporting framework.