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Expenditure restraint platitudes

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Deputy Leader of the Opposition




Mr Hawke's high sounding rhetoric today about expenditure

restraint is nothing but empty rhetoric. .

He is after all the Prime Minister who has given us the

two largest deficits in Australian history. Under the

Hawke Government, spending has risen at three times the

rate that it did under the Fraser Government. „

The first two Keating deficits were $7.96 billion and

$6.75 billion. Under the Fraser Government the largest

deficit was $4.5 billion - not the fictitious figure of

$9.6 billion so frequently used by Government spokesmen

in spite of the fact that the Prime Minister has admitted

that it was based on "illusionary" figures.

The Government's most recent stab at expenditure restraint -

namely the reintroduction of tertiary fees - lies in ruins

on the floor. Messrs Keating and Walsh need to do better

next time.

A reduction of $1000 million will make little impact if it

is from the highly inflated expenditure produced by Mr Keating

over the past few years.

To produce a satisfactory outcome the Government will need

to achieve a much larger reduction - namely an expenditure

increase of no more than the average 2 per cent in real terms

achieved by the Fraser Government in their seven years of


22 April 1985 -

Parliament House, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600