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Labor passes the buck on budget deficit

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Shadow Minister for SENATOR THE HON. TONY MESSNER Social Security

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"The Hawke Government is clearly using its alleged Budget problems as an alibi for not implementing its pre-election promises," the Shadow Minister for Social Security, and Senator for South Australia, Tony Messner said today.

Senator Messner was Minister Assisting the Treasurer in the former Goverment.

Senator Messner said that the actual deficit in 1985/84 will be the figure the Labor Government determines. It will be . the result of the spending and taxation decisions of the Hawke Government and not the former Government.

"This fact is important for all Australians, but in particular country people," he explained, "because already the Hawke Government has not honoured its promises on petrol prices".

"The budget last August was for a deficit of $1674 million. At that time Labor said the budget was too contractionary and called for an overall deficit of around $3,000 million. Labor also claimed that the tax cuts in the Budget should have been more generous.

"Talk about the size of the Budget deficit has a very hollow ring when they come from the Labor Party", the Senator said.

"It is nothing more than an alibi to cover their extravagant election promises now reneged upon.

"Instead of lowering taxes, Labor will impose significantly higher taxation on the Australian'1, Senator Messner said.

"They will pass the buck on this too and they will blame the former government",

"The $9.6 billion figure bandied about is now more than a "starting point" figure - under no circumstances would the former Government have allowed a deficit anywhere near that figure," '

"The Hawke Government should get on with governing. It is their job to make the decisions. People will not buy their buck passing for long," Senator Messner concluded.


11 April 1983