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Thursday, 12 May 1994
Page: 703


Senator SPINDLER —I give notice that, on the next day of sitting, I shall move:

  That the Senate—

  (a)notes:

    (i)comments by Dr Vince Fitzgerald of Allen Consulting and Dr Don Stammer of Bain and Company, as reported in the Melbourne Age of 12 May 1994, that the true 1994-95 Budget deficit is as high as $20 billion, due to the distorted way the nation's finances are presented, and

    (ii)calls by Professor John Quiggin of James Cook University in the Financial Review of 10 May 1994 to move towards a rational system of public accounting which shows changes in the Government's overall balance sheet instead of just cash flows;

  (b)deplores the fact that the proposed sale of an asset such as the Australian Industry Development Corporation, which will end up costing the taxpayer money through lost budget revenue, is counted as `current income' in the Budget; and

  (c)calls on the Government to reform its presentation of the Budget and to stop selling off public assets on the cheap in order to finance recurrent expenditure.