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Premiers' conference - greater budget onus on government



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SI

Deputy Leader of the Opposition

D86/85

NEWS REifiiSifBY JOHN HOWARD M.P.

PREMIERS' CONFERENCE - GREATER BUDGET ONUS ON GOVERNMENT

To match his rhetoric to the Premiers yesterday the Treasurer

will need to hold Federal budget outlays in the August Budget

to no increase at all in real terms.

Yesterday Mr Keating told the Premiers that- the Federal Government

was not asking them to do any more than the Federal Government

was do.ing itself. Quite correctly, the Federal Government

decided on no overall increase in-real terms in revenue ยท

payments to the States. I do not criticise that decision.

However, I point, to the fact that the Hawke Government must -

exercise the same level of restraint if it is to make good

the claim made at the Premiers' Conference.

To do this Mr Keating will need to effect major further spending

cuts beyond those announced in the mini-Budget. He will need to

do infinitely better than he did in his first two Budgets when . . .

Federal Government spending rose on average by approximately

7 per cent in real terms. _ -

The high spending nature of the Treasurer's first two Budgets .

has created much of the fiscal problem to which he drew attention

in his speech at the Premiers' Conference yesterday. He is

right to call for restraint on the part of the States. In doing .

so he redoubles the onus on himself and his colleagues to exercise

a similar degree of restraint on their own activities.

The track record to date is anything but encouraging.

CANBERRA . ' ’

31 May 1985 _

Parliam ent H ouse, Canberra, A.C.T. 2600