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Same old story from Labor on tough budgets

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Thursday, 29 March 2012


The same Treasurer who has spent billions of dollars in so many wasteful areas is now telling Australian taxpayers to expect a tough Budget.

“We are going to have to look very hard at spending, we’re going to have to look very hard at priorities.”

(Source: Wayne Swan, Speech to Australian Business Economists’ Breakfast, 29 March 2012)

But every year Wayne Swan and the Government promises a tough Budget. They simply cannot be believed.

Before Wayne Swan’s 2008 Budget:

“…it is going to be a tough Budget.”

(Source: Wayne Swan, Press Conference, Canberra, 1 April 2008)

Then again before the 2009 Budget:

“This is going to be a tough Budget.”

(Source: Wayne Swan, 2UE, Interview with Mike Carlton & Sandy Aloisi, 22 April 2009)

Before the 2010 Budget:

“It’s going to be a tough Budget.”

(Source: Nick Sherry, ABC, Interview with Virginia Trioli, 31 March 2010)

And again last year:

“This means we need to restrain Budget spending and build surpluses as the economy strengthens. We need to make tough decisions now to avoid much tougher decisions in the future.”

(Source: Wayne Swan, Economic Note, 1 May 2011)


Far from being tough, spending decisions taken by the Gillard government increased expenditure by $19 billion between MYEFO 2010 and Budget 2011. Labor hit Australian families and the economy with new and higher taxes worth more than $6 billion.

The Government is nowhere near the last year of the Coalition Government’s benchmark for expenditure, which is just 23.1% of GDP. And it won’t achieve this benchmark even out to the end of the forward estimates. Government expenditure for this financial year sits at 24.8% of GDP.

It is hard to believe this Labor Government when it comes to Budgets. The outcome is never what they promise.

The original forecast for the 2011-12 Budget was a deficit of $12 billion. It has now blown out to $37 billion and it is still growing.

Labor has delivered four successive Budget deficits, the largest in Australian history. Forget their words, this Government is addicted to spending. The Government has not been tough enough on its own expenditure and where cuts have been made, they have been poorly directed.

Now it has dawned on Wayne Swan that it is time to admit the Coalition is right and that a surplus Budget is a fiscal imperative. But we won’t know if they have delivered one until September next year and given their record of broken promises Australians can have little faith they will do so.