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Friday, 8 November 1985
Page: 1855

Senator CHANEY (Leader of the Opposition)(3.02) —by leave-I move:

That the Senate take note of the answer given by the Minister for Finance (Senator Walsh) to a question asked by Senator Crowley without notice this day relating to Government expenditure.

I do not wish to abuse the leave which has been given to me by making a speech at this stage but I draw the Senate's attention to the fact that under this Government public sector outlays as a proportion of gross domestic product have grown to very high levels and, if one examines the tables which are contained in this Government's own Budget Papers--

Senator Grimes —On a point of order, Mr Deputy President: Senator Chaney has said that he does not want to abuse the privilege that has been given to him by the Senate so I suggest that you stop him from doing so, which is exactly what he is doing.

The DEPUTY PRESIDENT —There is no point of order. Senator Chaney has been given leave, he can handle it how he likes.

Senator CHANEY —I simply draw the Senate's attention to the table published in the 1985-86 Budget Paper No. 1 which shows public sector outlays as a proportion of GDP. That table shows that the Commonwealth sector in 1984-85, took 32.1 per cent of GDP, which is the highest in the 10-year period shown in the table. The State sector took 22.9 per cent, the highest shown in the table, and the total public sector took 44.1, the highest shown in the table, which covers the period from 1975-76 to 1984-85.

The Government of which this Minister is Minister for Finance has been responsible for the highest spending, highest taxing Budgets in Australian history and that is the simple fact which lies behind the statements which were made in South Australia. Whatever attempts to fiddle with figures and predict the future might be made by the Minister for Finance, the Government's Budget Papers make it quite clear that the Government has achieved the distinction of being the highest spending, highest taxing government in our history.