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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 298


Senator CORMANN (Western AustraliaMinister for Finance and Deputy Leader of the Government in the Senate) (14:41): If only it was that easy we actually would have done that by now. The truth of the matter is that around 75 per cent of total Australian government expenditure is made through special appropriations under distinct legislation, not through the annual appropriation bills. That is, of course, a mechanism that the Gillard government used to tie up Australia in massively unfunded and unaffordable spending growth in the years well beyond the termination of her government for Australia.

Special appropriations established payments which the government is obligated to make by the parliament through such distinct legislation until or unless the parliament agrees to change or remove those specific and distinct pieces of legislation. Indeed, to the extent that we can achieve savings to annual appropriations we have, of course, already done so. That is a matter of public record—that we have done as much as we can through the appropriation bills. But, in the end, the government, as the responsible— (Time expired)