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Labor delivers on savings.

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Labor Delivers On Savings Media Statement - 22nd November 2007

Labor today released its third and final round of savings, bringing total Labor savings and offsets to over $10 billion, all of which have been submitted to Treasury and Finance.

It reflects Federal Labor’s economic principle that Budgets are about choices.

It is why Labor has done the hard work and identified savings and offsets of Howard Government spending to redirect to Labor’s better priorities.

Labor’s savings and offsets include:

· Redirecting the Government’s failed work skill vouchers to fund Labor’s better plan for more TAFE places ($623 million) as part of Labor’s Education Revolution;

· Abolishing the Government’s flawed Access Card ($933 million);

· Offsetting Federal Labor’s Solar Schools initiative with funds from the Green Vouchers program ($285 million);

· Funding Federal Labor’s better Dental Plan for Australians by redirecting the Government’s flawed Chronic Disease Dental program ($372 million);

· Labor’s Better Tax Plan ($3.1 billion); and

· Increased tax compliance ($740 million).

In contrast, Mr Howard and Mr Costello, having grown complacent in Government, have not produced a single savings to offset their $12 billion plus election spending spree.

Today, Federal Labor has announced additional savings. Significant new savings announced today include:

· Introduction of a one off additional 2 per cent increase in the efficiency dividend ($1.5 billion);

· Introduction of common purchasing arrangements to deliver improved value for money ($150 million); and

· Savings from the Government’s bloated WorkChoices bureaucracy ($258 million).

Lindsay Tanner

This one off increase in the efficiency dividend is on the same basis as the Government’s efficiency dividend and, to assist in this task, incorporates Labor’s previously identified and announced efficiencies worth $860 million such as:

· Advertising expenditure;

· Expenditure on consultancies;

· Non-defence related recruitment expenses;

· Opinion poll and market research spending; and

· Media Monitoring undertaken by Departments.

The base used for the efficiency dividend is the same base used by the Government excluding the operational areas of Defence and also excludes agencies specifically affected by other Labor savings proposals including the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations and the Australian Securities and Investment Commission.

Current vacancy rates, turnover, and attrition will ensure that redundancies will not be necessary to achieve these efficiency savings.

Mr Howard and Mr Costello have grown tired and have given up on doing the hard work required to keep a tight rein on the Budget. It’s why Mr Howard spent nearly $10 billion in his campaign launch last Monday without a saying a word about how he would pay for it.

Australia needs a Government with fresh ideas that is serious about delivering value for money to the Australian people. Only Federal Labor is doing the hard work to pay for its promises and keep control of the Budget.

Authorised by Tim Gartrell, 161 London Circuit, Canberra City, ACT 2600