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Monday, 24 May 1993
Page: 1064

Senator KERNOT —My question is directed to the Leader of the Government. What is more important to this Government: honouring bad election promises, such as unaffordable income tax cuts, or doing something significant to reduce the Budget deficit? Can the Government possibly do both?

Senator GARETH EVANS —I think I have said everything I can say on this particular subject. We have outlined and identified the kind of Budget strategy that we are presently embarked upon in order to achieve a particular result by 1995-96; to outline a medium term strategy for getting there in this year's 1993-94 Budget, and to produce a result this year that is roughly equivalent to that which we produced last year. We believe that all those objectives can be obtained in the course of this particular Budget. The precise means by which we get there will be made clear on Budget night and not before.

Senator KERNOT —Mr President, I ask a supplementary question. The Minister has told us all of that before. I asked him a question on a matter of principle. In the Government's scheme of things, what is more important: honouring election promises or doing something economically responsible?

Senator GARETH EVANS —We are deeply committed to principle, as is notoriously the case. One of the reasons we are still here after 10 years is that we are perceived as such by the Australian people. That will remain the case in the future.