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The 2013-2014 Federal Budget



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The 2013-2014 Federal Budget March 25, 2013

Fifty days out from the May Budget, it is clear that Labor’s Budget preparations are in chaos.

Instead of putting together a Budget, Labor is duct-taping together a ministry. Its focus is on survival rather than on developing and implementing good policy.

After five years of debt and deficits, Australians need and deserve a return to competent economic management.

Australia needs a responsible, honest Budget that doesn’t cook the books, doesn’t engage in class warfare and ensures that

Australia once again lives within its means.

The Budget can either continue Labor’s history of debt, deficits, waste, tax increases and broken promises or it can set a new course for our country.

The Coalition will judge Labor’s Budget against five critical tests:

1. Is the Budget based on honest and credible assumptions - or will it continue the dishonest paper shuffles and the ‘cook-the-books’ culture of recent years?

2. Does it demonstrate a speedy path back to surplus in 2013-14 by cutting waste - or will Labor continue on with its profligate spending?

3. Does it bring debt under control - or will Labor again increase the debt ceiling above its current $300 billion?

4. Does it rule out new tax grabs such as further new taxes on superannuation?

5. Does it detail how Labor will pay for its big spending initiatives like Gonski and the NDIS?

The Coalition wants the coming Budget to demonstrate a credible path back to surplus in 2013-14. This year's deficit is Labor's

11th in a row. This is in contrast to the Coalition which delivered surpluses in 10 of the last 11 budgets it has delivered.

We also want to see credible and achievable forecasts. Australia can't afford another year of Labor ‘cooking the books’ and the inevitable blowout that follows. This year there is a deficit rather than the promised surplus, last year there was a $21 billion

blowout and in the year before there was a $7 billion blowout.

These budget failures have resulted in a massive blow-out in Australia’s debt and more than $7 billion a year in interest payments. There has been a bigger increase in debt over Labor’s first four budgets, in dollar terms and as a share of GDP, than

over any other four-year period at least since 1970, when the historical data published in modern Budget papers begin.

We should not see another increase in Australia’s $300 billion debt limit. The limit has already increased in just a few short years from $75 billion, to $200 billion, to $250 billion, and then only last Budget to $300 billion.

Labor has squandered the good financial management of the Howard Government that paid off the debt and left Australia with

assets in the bank.

The path back to surpluses, debt reduction and a strong, prosperous economy must be through cutting wasteful spending, rather than on increasing taxes or introducing new ones.

About half of all the “saves” Labor has claimed in Budgets and Mid-Year reviews over the past few years have actually been tax

increases - and in the most recent Mid-Year Review, just last October, this fraction was higher still at over 80 per cent.

Instead of hitting Australians and Australian businesses with yet more new taxes, the Government needs to address the fact that it

Tony Abbott Federal Member for Warringah | Leader of the Opposition

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is currently spending almost $100 billion a year more than in the last year of the Howard Government.

Labor has a spending problem, not a revenue problem - with the Mid-Year Review projections showing revenue this year expected to be over $70 billion higher than at the end of the Howard Government, and with Budget data for the first seven months

of this financial year showing revenues up by almost 5 per cent relative to the same period in the previous financial year.

Australia must live within its means. Labor’s debt and deficits have left Australia more vulnerable to an economic shock and mean less protection in the event of a financial crisis.

The Coalition has a plan for a strong, prosperous economy and that means ensuring that our children are not burdened by unfairly

high taxes and left with a heavy debt.

25 March 2013

© Tony Abbott MHR 2010 | Authorised by Tony Abbott MHR, Level 2, 17 Sydney Rd, Manly NSW 2095

www.tonyabbott.com.au

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