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32    Finance— Government spending

Senator Bernardi, pursuant to notice of motion not objected to as a formal motion, moved general business notice of motion no. 648—That the Senate—

               (a)       notes that 5 December 2017 marked the 45th anniversary of the swearing-in of the first Whitlam Labor Government;

               (b)       also notes that spending as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product:

                                     (i)       soon after Mr Whitlam’s swearing-in, rocketed from 18.9% that financial year to 24.3% the year Mr Whitlam left office in 1975,

                                    (ii)       had been reduced to lower than that level when the Howard Government left office in 2007, and

                                  (iii)       now sits at higher levels than when Mr Whitlam left office, at a budgeted 25.2%, and projected to remain at a similar level into forward estimates; and

                (c)       expresses its in-principle support for legislative measures that will help chart a pathway to budget surplus achieved by reducing spending and waste, not by increasing taxes.

Statement by leave : The Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister (Senator McGrath), by leave, made a statement relating to the motion.

Question put and passed.