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Wednesday, 10 December 1986
Page: 3693

Senator Dame MARGARET GUILFOYLE —My question is directed to the Minister for Finance. It concerns the Forward Estimates of Commonwealth Government outlays and staffing for 1987-88. Is it a fact, as reported by Michael Stutchbury in today's Australian Financial Review, that the Forward Estimates for 1987-88 are in the Government's hands and that their release is overdue? If so, what is the estimate of total Commonwealth Government outlays for the next financial year? When will the full details be released?

Senator WALSH —I have not seen the report, but from that account it is certainly not entirely correct. The Forward Estimates were cleared for publication by me last week as a result of a Cabinet decision. They were also to be cleared by the Prime Minister and the Treasurer. I think that has now been done, and they would have gone to the printers today. If not, I expect them to go to the printers tomorrow, and I understand there is about a week's delay. I will be making them public next week. As to the estimate of expenditure for next year, I am afraid that Senator Dame Margaret Guilfoyle will have to wait until publication to get that information.