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Friday, 13 September 1985
Page: 533


Senator ROBERT RAY —I direct my question to the Minister for Veterans' Affairs. Is the Department of Veterans' Affairs on target with savings arising out of the 14 May statement?


Senator GIETZELT —Ministers of all departments were required to make savings of approximately 5 per cent in relation to the current Budget. According to the 14 May statement those projected savings would start on 1 July. Although my Department is not precisely on target, I understand we are about $1m out of a projected saving of $60m-as close as that. I remind Senator Ray that despite the savings that were effected by the 14 May statement, the Government increased expenditure to my Department in the current financial year by $260m-odd and has committed itself to a program of spending $100m on upgrading the repatriation hospitals over the next three years. Whilst it is true there have been some savings within the Department, there has also been additional expenditure. So there has been a redirection of financial resources within the Department. I am please to say that, generally speaking, according to what I have been advised this week, we are substantially on target.