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Willis reply pathetic



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SfcPtJTY l £ a M r of the OPPOSITION SHADOW TREASURER

WILLIS REPLY PATHETIC

The reply from Finance Minister Willis to my question in Parliament today was pathetic.

I asked Mr Willis:

"Why did he tell Parliament yesterday that by 2 December last year Treasury had not analysed Fightback's expenditure or revenue measures when, in actual fact, he had received two Treasury minutes, one on revenue on 27 November and the second, a

170 page analysis of expenditure, on 26 November?"

The Minister's only defence was not that he hadn't received any analysis, but rather that the two Treasury minutes referred to were preliminary.

The fact is that the minute of 27 November 1991 on Treasury revenue calculations was clearly very close to the final analysis as released by Mr Willis on 16 December 1991.

Secondly, it is very clear from the minute dated Tuesday, 26 November 1992 on expenditure costings that while some costings, such as on social security, were outstanding, those costings were, according to the minute, due to be delivered on Friday, 29 November - three full days before the critical Treasury minute of 2 December 1991.

As the Department of Finance says on page 2 of the 26 November minute:

"Outstanding costings will be forwarded by Friday [29 November 1991] and as they become available."

Therefore, Mr Willis' defence is no defence.

Treasury had the revenue and expenditure costings before it wrote its minute dated 2 December 1991, which advised the Government that interest rates would come down under Fightback!.

25 March 1992 Canberra

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MIC AH

Contact: David Turnbull (06) 2774277 D48/92