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No assurance at all

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The Opposition today sought a simple assurance from the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr Cole, that tomorrow night's budget estimates would provide honest, realistic and independent forecasts.

In reply all we got from the Secretary's political master was a page full of qualifications.

Treasurer Dawkins has failed to give an assurance that would give the Australian public any cause for confidence in his numbering.

How can anyone believe a Treasurer who published forecasts in "One Nation" which have no credence and, by his own definition, have been shown in time "to have been based on other than sound professional judgement".

Mr Dawkins has failed to provide a detailed response to three specific examples of political interference in the preparation of budget estimates raised by the Sydney Morning Herald.

His defence is full of qualifications and hinges on an assertion that it won't happen again.

In essence the Treasurer provides no assurance at all.

17 August 1992 Canberra

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 277 4277 D122/92