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Tuesday, 16 October 1984
Page: 1743

Senator LEWIS —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Prime Minister. I take it that he has noted the advice in Syntec dated 1 October 1984 that there should be supplementary Budget measures-in effect, a mini-Budget-next autumn to cut the structural Budget deficit. Given that Syntec appears to have close links with the Commonwealth Treasury and in the past has seldom made such claims without similar advice being put forward by the Treasury, I ask: Has the Government been receiving advice from the Treasury or any other area of the bureaucracy that the structural deficit needs to be cut and/or that there needs to be a mini-Budget next autumn? If this nation is so misguided as to re-elect the Hawke Labor Government, will the Government be putting down a mini-Budget in the first half of next year?

Senator BUTTON —If I can try to summarise what lawyers might call the ratio decidendi of Senator Lewis's question, it is simply this: Has the Government received advice from Treasury, first that the structural deficit needs to be cut and, secondly, that there ought to be a mini-Budget next year? The answer to both questions is no.